Monday, February 1, 2010

Carbon Nanotube Capacity Expands

Bayer MaterialScience has opened a large carbon nanotube (CNT) pilot facility in Leverkusen, boasting annual capacity of 200 tonnes. The company has invested €22 million in the operation located at Chempark in Leverkusen, Germany, home to Bayer's corporate headquarters. Dr. Joachim Wolff, a member of Bayer MaterialScience's executive committee and head of the coatings, adhesives, and specialties segment, said current forecasts assign a 25% annual growth rate to CNTs, with the market expected to be worth $2 billion within 10 years.

The announcement from Bayer comes the same week that Belgian competitor Nanocyl said it was installing a new reactor for nanotube production that would boost its production capacity to 400 tonnes/year. That new reactor is scheduled to come online in July 2010, doubling the size of Bayer's now operational site. Last summer, CNano, headquartered in California but with manufacturing in China, brought online a 500 ton/yr facility for CNT production.