24 September 2001 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Frontier Carbon Corporation, a joint venture between Mitsubishi and Mitsubishi Chemical, has announced plans for the large-scale production of fullerenes from early 2002.
The joint venture represents the first major investment by Nanotech Partners, the world's first nanotechnology investment fund specialising in fullerenes and carbon nanotubes.
Production is anticipated to reach 1500 tonne/year by 2004, and is expected to bring fullerene prices ten to 100 times lower than those currently prevailing.
This production process will use the basic material patent of fullerenes owned by Fullerenes International Corporation, flame-based technology developed and patented by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), combined with Mitsubishi Chemical's patented process systems engineering technologies, and fullerenes separation processes.
Fullerenes were discovered in 1985. Nearly 2000 patents already exist for a broad range of pharmaceutical, electronic and other commercial applications, as well as industrial applications including superconductive materials, electrolyte separation membranes for fuel cells, highly functionalised coatings and ultra-fine crystalline artificial diamonds for drilling and industrial polishing.
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