The meeting of the work group developing an activity plan to support products based on single-wall carbon nanotubes at Tatarstan’s enterprises for 2015-2018 took place on April 21. A part of that team was KFU scientists.
Our experts: professor Lenar Tagirov, Head of the Department of Solid State Physics from the Institute of Physics and professor Rustem Amirov, Head of the Department of Inorganic Chemistry from Alexander Butlerov Institute of Chemistry, told us about the relevance of this project not only for Tatarstan, but for Russia as well.
It is planned to launch a first-rate plant producing the carbon nanotubes. In 2014 gross world production of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) was just about 5 tons. The capacity of the designed plant will be almost 10 tons per year. This can turn Tatarstan into a flagship of nanoindustry.
Rustem Amirov remarked that the project is going to be carried out by OCSiAl from Novosibirsk. This company developed the SWCNT production technology and expanded it. The reason to build the plant in Tatarstan is region’s economic prosperity along with the large amount of potential customers. KFU is also involved: our scientists received the samples of nanotubes for their experiments. The implementation area of the product is quite wide because of its working capacity, wear and thermal resistance properties, but nowadays it is still hardly commercially available. However, the Department of Inorganic Chemistry has developed a new composite production method based on carbon nanotubes and polyolefin and KFU’s scientists are ready to share their ideas with composite-producing enterprises.
On the other hand, nanotubes application may cause the price of the final product to go up. Current cost is 6.7 euro per gram and a large-scale production can decrease it to 1-2 euro, i.e. 1000 euro per a kilo. Therefore it’s now, when it is vital to think about an up-market production where the use of the nanotubes will insignificantly affect the base price. Regardless, higher price will pay back in a long-term utilization.