Bayer builds new plant for carbon nanotube production

The Baytubes plant in Leverkusen, Germany will produce 200 tons of carbon nanotubes per year.

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Bayer MaterialScience AG (Leverkusen, Germany and Pittsburgh, Pa., USA) reported on May 5 that it has begun construction of a new facility for the production of Baytubes carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in Chempark Leverkusen, Germany. The new plant will have a capacity of 200 tons/year. The company will invest about €22 million in the planning, development and construction of the plant.

"Bayer MaterialScience AG is investing in a key technology of the future that will open up a broad range of new applications for us,” said Joe Ventura, business development manager, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. “Bayer MaterialScience AG is one of the few companies that can produce carbon nanotubes of consistently high quality on an industrial scale.”

A pilot plant with an annual capacity of 60 tons has been in operation in Laufenburg in southern Germany since 2007. Production involves a catalytic process in which the carbon nanotubes are obtained from a carbon-containing gas at elevated temperature in a reactor.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC recently obtained regulatory approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to sell Baytubes, its multi-wall carbon nanotubes. The approval covers Baytubes C 150 P and HP grades that are currently produced in the Laufenburg plant.