Arkema, a world leader
in nanostructured materials, announces the construction of a carbon nanotube
(CNT) pilot production plant at its Mont site (France, Pyrénées-Atlantiques).
The 400 ton/year plant, scheduled for startup beginning of 2011, will operate
an innovative process and will be the only CNT production plant in the world
to use an entirely bio-sourced raw material.
In 2003 Arkema launched a research project to study CNTs and their applications.
In 2006 Arkema started up at its Lacq facility the first pilot laboratory capable
of producing some 20 ton/year of CNTs, sampled under the trademark Graphistrength®.
Arkema in particular developed a range of innovative masterbatches that are
easy to process within various thermoplastic, elastomer and, more recently,
thermoset matrices. These high-tech masterbatches help optimize the application
properties of end-products.
As a responsible manufacturer, and in keeping with the precautionary principle,
Arkema put in place from the very launch of the project a CNT-specific health-safety-environment
initiative to ensure the protection of its employees, users, and the environment.
Its code of conduct is based on three principles: prevention, permanent knowledge
acquisition, and transparency with stakeholders in accordance with the advice
of the January 2009 French Public Health Council.
Arkema has already established a large number of partnerships in various sectors
ranging from electronics and transport, to renewable energies (wind, photovoltaics)
and energy storage (batteries, supercapacitors) for the development of applications
requiring enhanced performance in terms of electrical conductivity, thermal
conductivity, and mechanical strength.
For the past three years Arkema has been involved in major development programs
designed to assist companies seeking innovation by using nanostructured materials.
In particular, as part of the GENESIS program launched in June 2008, Arkema
assists both major groups and SMEs in a number of industrial sectors - automobile,
cable manufacture, composites, energy, environment - which are keen to capitalize
on the outstanding features of carbon nanotubes for their own developments.
This industrial investment will boost Arkema’s standing among leading
suppliers of new nanostructured materials.