SWeNT receives OK to commercially distribute carbon nanotubes

SouthWest NanoTechnologies Inc. has received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consent order that will permit SWeNT to manufacture and distribute single-wall carbon nanotubes for commercial applications.

Carbon nanotube (CNT) manufacturer SouthWest NanoTechnologies Inc. (SWeNT, Norman, Okla., USA) reported on Dec. 15 that it has received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consent order which will permit SWeNT to manufacture and distribute single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) for commercial applications.

Previously the company distributed its SWCNT via a Low Release, Low Exposure (LOREX) PMN exemption from the EPA. SWeNT is currently the only U.S. manufacturer permitted to commercially distribute SWCNTs.

The EPA granted this consent order under the Toxic Control Substances Act (TSCA), which requires defining each companyís carbon nanotubes as a new chemical substance. The EPA also requires manufacturers that intend to distribute commercial quantities to obtain a consent order prior to CNT commercial production although small quantities are permitted for research and development.

"We have ramped up our production capacity and manufacturing teams in anticipation of this consent order, and will now be in a position to satisfy the commercial demand for our products in the specified applications," explains SWeNT CEO Dave Arthur.

The consent order states that SWeNT's SWCNTs can be used as a conductive coatings component, using the CNTs as a dispersion or ink. SWeNT also produces specialty multi-wall (SMW) CNTs via a separate consent order previously granted by the EPA. Applications for this SMW material include composites for enhanced body armor and as an additive in resins, thermoplastics and elastomers for enhanced electrical performance necessary for improving battery performance in plug-in electric hybrid vehicles (PHEV).