Editorial Feature

Nanotechnology in Wyoming, USA: Market Report

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Wyoming, situated in the mountainous regions of Western United States, covers a total area of 253,348 km2, making it the 10th largest state. With a population of 576,412 as of 2012, it is the least populated state in the U.S.

The 2011 GSP of Wyoming was $37.6 billion, of which a majority was contributed by the mining industry according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

For manufacturers, Wyoming offers many advantages such as:

  • Sale tax exemption for electricity used in manufacturing, and the second-lowest electricity rate in the nation
  • Manufacturing sales tax exemption
  • Industrial development revenue bonds to boost economic growth
  • No corporate or personal income taxes
  • Wyoming Partnership Challenge Loan Program to help with business loans

Nanotechnology Companies

The leading nanotechnology-related companies in Wyoming are listed below, together with a short introduction to each of them.

Nanomaterials Discovery Corporation (NDCPower)

It is a profitable, privately-owned company with an aim to commercialize clean energy technologies with products in the consumer portable power market, hydrogen fuel cell market, and the military power market.

NDCPower’s products provide excellent technical performance and cost-effectiveness in high-value forthcoming markets. The company’s competitive advantage comes from the use of its advanced materials and catalysts. This technology edge has enabled NDCPower to set up a wide and growing intellectual property portfolio to match and secure its product lines. NDCPower’s vision is to bring fuel cell technologies into mainstream application in a lucrative manner.

Universal Nanotech Corporation (UNC)

Set up in 2010, it aimed to revolutionize current semiconductor device technology utilizing the quantum effects of silicon and germanium nanocrystals. UNC regulates a proprietary large-scale production process of high-purity size-specific silicon (intrinsic, p-type, and n-type) and germanium nanocrystals.

UNC is working on the development of commercial end-user products using germanium and silicon nanocrystals. The company takes the opinions of its customers to ensure the realization of an effective product.

Nanotechnology Research and Education

Some of the top academic institutes in Wyoming providing courses and research programs in nanotechnology and nanoscience are mentioned below:

University of Wyoming

It promotes nanotechnology-based research via the research groups listed below:

  • EE Nanotechnology—Graduate students work together with STEM high school teachers in Wyoming rural schools to add energy and environmental nanotechnology information into the present Wyoming standards-based STEM curriculum. This is to increase students’ and teachers’ knowledge, to encourage students to go for higher education in a STEM field, and to expand Graduate Fellow leadership skills.
  • College of Engineering and Applied Science—The University of Wyoming’s Chemical and Petroleum Department carries out research on the following subjects:
    • Development of nanomaterials for clean energy production
    • Development of new solid CO2 sorbents
  • Soft Materials Laboratory—This laboratory is a multidisciplinary research team committed to understanding bionanomaterials, carbon recovery, living polymerization, polyionics, and molecular energy systems.

Recent Developments

The University of Wyoming in partnership with a nonprofit organization is aiming towards using nanotechnology so as to improve the safety of drinking water. Its goal is to get rid of lethal arsenic present in several drinking water supplies. The technology uses cupric oxide nanoparticles as an oxidizer, akin to filters used in households. These nanoparticles eliminate the arsenic content from the water supply.

In January 2013, Hess Corp pledged $4.4 million to assist the University of Wyoming’s Center for Advanced Oil and Gas Technologies Nano Resolution Imaging Laboratory. Consequently, Wyoming will match this contribution via a matching fund program for UW’s energy program.

With a wealth of natural resources, it looks logical for Wyoming to focus their efforts on clean technologies and mining, which is in keeping with their latest developments. Their low population, which in turn converts into low participation, is likely to result in a lesser number of nanotech developments. However, if these developments were looked upon on a per capita basis, Wyoming might rank quite high.

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