The construction of a new Innovnano plant, in the Coimbra iParque, has begun this month. This is an innovative industrial unit, which will manufacture nanomaterials from a worldwide unique process.
This infrastructure, being built on a 3.3 hectare plot, will also be equipped with a laboratory gifted with the most advanced equipment.
The installation of this modern nanomaterials manufacturing unit, besides the 10 million euro investment, will promote approximately 40 new skilled employment opportunities in the region, and the commissioning of the first production line is foreseen early in 2012.
The Innovnano Company, holder of four international patents already granted and others pending concerning their unique process of nanomaterials manufacture, is also involved in projects for its application in the production and storage of renewable energies, coatings, and advanced ceramics, among other fields.
The vast majority of nanomaterials manufacturers have been finding it difficult to scale-up their production processes with very few manufacturers being able to produce tens of tons of nanomaterials annually. Moreover, the complex nature of nanomaterials have raised certain doubts by end users regarding the technical
reliability of these materials.
To address these challenges, INNOVNANO (part of CUF, the largest Portuguese chemical group), with its corporate Headquarter located in Lisbon, have developed a unique and innovative proprietary patented process. The process is defined as a high-pressure semi continuous process for the large-scale production of nanomaterials and advanced ceramic powders.
High pressure (> 30,000 bars) and high temperature (in the range of 500°C to 2000°C) are combined with ultrafast quenching (up to 108 K/s to 109 K/s) in a single reaction step. Furthermore, the complete automation of the manufacturing process has resulted in minimum human intervention and eliminated downtime, thereby ensuring production maximization and quick response time to customers.
The process has been controlled in such a way that competitive selection of precursors and production conditions is possible to tap into the appropriate properties of metal oxides, doped metal oxides, and composites. Today, INNOVNANO already offers several commercial nanoparticles in the range of 20 nm to 60 nm.
This patented technology is useful to target the various mechanical, thermal, electrical, optical, and other pertinent properties of these nanomaterials, catering to advanced coatings and advanced ceramics, as well as the energy sector and cosmetics industries. Different synthesis options have been created for preparing either single compound microparticles or nanoparticles, or a homogeneous mixture of various compounds of the same particle.
The proper control of reaction kinetics has ensured that both partial and complete coatings can be easily synthesized in the manufacturing process.
INNOVNANO is part of NANOFutures, the European initiative for sustainable development of nanotechnology, and is also part of the Nanotechnology Industries Association (N.I.A.), which represents the industrial nanotechnology supply chain in Europe.