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Posted: May 09, 2013
BNNT, LLC Builds Nanotube Factory in Newport News, Virginia
(Nanowerk News) BNNT, LLC, a Newport News, Virginia start-up, began construction of the world’s first commercial factory dedicated to the manufacture of Fibril Boron Nitride Nanotubes, “Fibril BNNT™.” Boron nitride nanotubes are as strong as the better-known carbon nanotubes, but are much more heat resistant and much easier to synthesize in a high quality form.
BNNT, LLC (the Company), is proud to announce that the new factory resulted from completed negotiations and closing on a Series A Financing transaction that will provide the Company the initial investment capital it needs to make Fibril BNNT™ commercially available.
With assistance from the Economic Development Authority of the City of Newport News, Virginia, the several thousand square foot factory is located near the U.S. Department of Energy’s Jefferson Lab. The foundational Fibril BNNT™ synthesis technology was initially developed utilizing Jefferson Lab’s Office of Naval Research-funded Free-Electron Laser in collaboration with NASA Langley Research Center and the National Institute of Aerospace, both in neighboring Hampton, Virginia. Additional support was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The Company’s Fibril BNNT™ is a super-strong, heat-resistant, textile-like polymer with the appearance of cotton, but a molecular backbone 100 times stronger than steel. Fibril BNNT™ is expected to attract a broad range of customers in the nanotube materials sector, a rapidly growing market now worth over $1 billion per year. Applications of this new molecule are projected to range from Mars rocket heat shields to cancer therapies. “The current world supply of Fibril BNNT™ is under 10 grams, less than the weight of four pennies,” says the Company’s Chief Scientist Mike Smith, formerly of NASA LaRC, “but the demand for this material is tremendous. We believe we can sell as much as we can make. When I visit a lab or company, the final question is always—when can we have some?”
The Company projects sales of Fibril BNNT™ to commercial and university laboratories around the world to begin within a year.
About BNNT, LLC
BNNT, LLC a startup company based in Newport News, VA established to manufacture Fibril BNNT™ for scientific investigations, commercial product R&D and commercial products. Key staff members include the developers who invented the new processes. More information is available at: www.BNNT.com
Synthesis technologies licensed by BNNT, LLC, were developed jointly by NASA Langley Research Center (a NASA ‘Center of Excellence in Structures and Materials’), the U. S. Department of Energy’s Jefferson Lab, and the National Institute of Aerospace, a non-profit formed by a consortium of major universities that serves as a strategic partner of NASA, promoting leading edge aerospace research.