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Carbon nanotubes becoming economicaly feasible


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These slides use concepts from my (Jeff Funk) course entitled analyzing hi-tech opportunities to analyze improvements in the economic feasibility of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for transparent electrodes and flywheels. Improvements in the transparency and cost of CNTs are enabling CNTs to replace indium tin oxide in applications such as solar cells and displays. Second, as the cost of CNTs falls through improvements in processes and increases in the scale of equipment, they will become economically feasible for flywheels. Since the energy storage density of flywheels is directly proportional to the strength to weight ration of the flywheel material, CNTs (and graphene) have potential energy storage densities that are ten times the current energy storage densities of carbon fiber-based flywheels and Li-ion batteries. This means that carbon nanotubes are an important tool in the battle against fossil-fuel dependency and global warming.

Published in: Business, Technology

Carbon nanotubes becoming economicaly feasible

  1. 1. Carbon Nanotubes Flywheels & Transparent Electrodes HASSANALI GHAEDAMINI HAROUNI - A0068990M LO KWOK WAH DENNIS - A0005859X LOW GUAT SIM - A0082071N GOPALAKRISHNAN NANDINI - A0098547L RAGUNATH GUHA - A0082085E SHEN ZIHONG - A0046147H
  2. 2. Outline Background of CNT  What are they?  Synthesis & Properties  Emerging Applications  Growth Drivers  Market Demand  Prices of CNT  How cheaper can CNT get?  Entrepreneurial Opportunities  Transparent Electrodes & Flywheels  Challenges & Improvements  Conclusion  Q &A 
  3. 3. CNT - What are they? A graphite sheet rolled into a seamless cylinder     Multi-walled (MWCNT): Concentric or spiral Single-walled (SWCNT): Zig-zag, armchair or chiral Fullerite: Polymerised single walled Torus: Nanotube bent into doughnut shape E.T.Thostenson et al. / Composites Science and Technology (2001)
  4. 4. CNT - Synthesis Carbon Nanotubes can be synthesised in 3 main ways  Arc Discharge  Laser Ablation  Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) Other techniques are: Flame pyrolysis, Bottom-up organic approach, High-Pressure CO Conversion (HiPco), Thermal Plasma Synthesis, Rotation Reactors (Improved CVD), CCVD (Catalytic CVD).
  5. 5. CNT - Properties Among the other properties of CNT, the most prominent ones are : Electrical Mechanical Field emission in vacuum electronics Building block for next generation of VLSI* Nano lithography Has constant resistivity & a tolerance for very high current density Armchair structures are metallic while, chiral can be a moderate semiconductor Diamond CNT Steel Youngs Modulus(GPa) 1220 1000 210 Tensile strength(GPa) 1.2 63 1.2 Yield stress(GPa) 16.53 52.00 0.83 Density(g cm-3) 3.52 1.35 8 Thermal Good thermal capacitors along tube & insulators laterally to the tube axis. 15 times more heat conductive than copper Temperature stability -up to 2800oC in vacuum & about 750oC in air *Very Large Scale Integration
  6. 6. Emerging Applications The unique electrical and mechanical properties of CNT has been modified to assemble them into devices like:  Flywheels for Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS)  Transparent electrodes  Lithium-ion batteries  Super-capacitors  CNT-based electronic components such as fieldeffect transistors (FETs).
  7. 7. Market Demand of CNT Electronics & Data Storage Energy Source:
  8. 8. Prices of Materials (Multi-tonnes) 10.000 1.000 SWNT (90wt%) Indium Silicon MWNT Carbon Fibre 0.010 Steel 0.001 Year Source: Multi-source (please refer to the comments section) 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 0.000 1995 Price (USD/gram) 0.100
  9. 9. Price at various purity levels (2013) Price of CNT 80.0 70.0 60.0 ($'000) 50.0 99% SWCNT 90% SWCNT 40.0 60% SWCNT 30.0 99% MWCNT 95% MWCNT 20.0 10.0 0.0 1 10 25 50 100 500 1000 Weight (g) Source:
  10. 10. How much cheaper can CNT get ?
  11. 11. CNT Cost vs Production capacity Source: reviews © 2013 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim The Road for Nanomaterials Industry: A Review of Carbon Nanotube Production, Post-Treatment and Bulk Applications for Composites and Energy Storage
  12. 12. Production Capacity vs Actual Production 14000 CNT Production (tonne) 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 Spare capacity (tonne) Actual Production (tonne) Yr 2008 656 Yr 2009 1690 Yr 2010 3355 Yr 2015 3000 340 500 710 9300 Source:
  13. 13. Manufacturing process of CNT Process/ Source Carbon Fibre CNT Precursors Polymer (polyacrylonitrile, polyethylene) Carbon containing gas (methane, ethane etc) + metal catalyst (Ni etc) Synthesizing Oxidation and carbonization Carbonization (breaking off carbon) Surface treatment Liquid Oxidation with acid/ alkaline Acid washing Spooling Sheets,Vertically aligned, etc Packaging
  14. 14. Manufacturing cost of CNT Source: Rocky Mountain Institute, 2011
  15. 15. Using Waste material (as precursors) for CNT Production Reasons:  Availability of large volume of waste produced worldwide composed of polymers (polyethyelene, polypropylene etc)  Plastic polymers serve very well as carbonaceous feed for CNT production  Energy and resource intensive production of CNTs More cost efficient as, precusors are the main contributor to high-cost Source: Chemical Engineering Journal 195–196 (2012) 377–391
  16. 16. Materials as precursors for Production of VA-CNT Source: Towards large scale aligned carbon nanotube composites: an industrial safe-by-design and sustainable approach: Journal of Physics: Conference Series 429 (2013) 012050
  17. 17. Alternate energy to lower Mfg cost Source: Renewable and Sustainability Reviews, Volume 22, June 2013, Pg 560-570
  18. 18. Carbon Nanotubes in Transparent Electrode & Flywheels
  19. 19. Transparent Electrode What is transparent electrode?  A transparent and conductive material  For devices like touch screens, LCDs, OLEDs, Solar cells Transparent electrodes to be used in display panels:  Higher conductivity  Higher transparency
  20. 20. Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) in Transparent Electrodes Advantage Disadvantage Ease of fabrication Expensive and time-consuming multi stage refining process with low efficiency (15 to 30%) Consistency and reproducibility Shortage of supply: Indium is a by product of other mining operation, eg. Zinc and Lead Mature technology Increasing cost of ITO Good transmittance in the visible (>80%) and near IR regions Low resilience to mechanical stresses Low electrical resistivity Inherently brittle in nature Flexible substrate, deterioration in the conductivity when subjected to thermal and mechanical strains Degrade with time when subjected to mechanical stress
  21. 21. Alternative materials in Transparent Electrode Carbon Nanotube (CNT) films B) Random Net works of metallic nanowires C) Metal gratings D) Graphene films A) Source: Kumar, Akshay, and Chongwu Zhou. "The race to replace tin-doped indium oxide: which material will win?." ACS nano 4.1 (2010): 11-14.
  22. 22. Carbon Nanotubes for Transparent Electrodes Optoelectronic property of CNT network films  ITO performance (100 Ohm/sq and >90% transparency)  Unidym CVD nanotubes outperforms any other CVD tubes together with Laser and Arc tubes Source: Park,Young‐Bae, et al. "37.4: Late‐News Paper: Integration of Carbon Nanotube Transparent Electrodes into Display Applications." SID Symposium Digest of Technical Papers. Vol. 39. No. 1. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2008.
  23. 23. Hybrids of CNT network films Price CNT Conductivity Transparency Flexibility √ ITO √ √ √  Contact resistances and semi-conducting nanotubes of the nanotube network films  Chemical doping  Hybridization of conducting guest components o Acid treatment o Deposition of metal nanoparticles o Creation of a composite of conducting polymers  Surface-modified carbon nanotube networks for transparent conducting film applications
  24. 24. Result of Chemical Doping One tenth reduction in resistance by post treatment of CNT Source:Yang, Seung Bo, et al. "Recent advances in hybrids of carbon nanotube network films and nanomaterials for their potential applications as transparent conducting films." Nanoscale 3.4 (2011): 1361-1373.
  25. 25. Flywheels What are Flywheel Energy Storage Systems? Consists of 3 major components:  Flywheel (Rotor, Rotor’s bearing & Housing)  Electrical motor/generator to transfer electricity  Controlled electronics for connection to a larger electric power system Basic Operating Principle of Flywheel Energy Storage System: Source:
  26. 26. Why Flywheels for Energy Storage? ESS Feature Lead Acid Battery Flywheel Battery Chemical Mechanical Energy Density Higher Lower Power Density Lower Higher 75% 95% Storage Mechanism Efficiency (input/output) Flywheel $50 -$100 (USD) CNT $400 - $800 (USD) Higher Lower 3-5 yrs > 20 yrs Charging Capabilities Slow Rapid Charging Cycles 1000 100,000 Proven Promising Disposal Issues Slight Temperature Range Limited Less Limited Relative Size (equivalent power/energy) Larger Smaller Annual Sales ($Millions USD) ~ 7000 ~2 Price per Kilowatt Maintenance Operating Life Flywheel CNT Technology Environmental Concerns Source:
  27. 27. Design for Flywheels Mass (m) x 2 Energy (Ek) x 2 Velocity (v) x 2 Energy (Ek) x 22 Increasing Mass of Rotor Increasing Velocity of Rotor Slow Speed Flywheels High Speed Flywheels Store twice as much energy when it spins at the same speed Store quadruple as much energy when it spins twice the speed Dense and Large (Larger Footprint) Lighter and Smaller (Smaller Footprint) Deliver a large amount of power for a short period of time Produce usable work or electrical energy for hours but in smaller quantities Applications: Emergency backup power sources Applications: Motor vehicles Source:
  28. 28. Limitations for High Speed Flywheels  Current Materials Used For Rotors: Steel or Carbon Fiber  As Speed of rotor increases, the energy stored is limited by the strength of the rotor material  Rotor eventually reaches a point where the force is too great that it shatters into fragments
  29. 29. Carbon Nanotubes for High Speed Flywheels Specific tensile strength of the material Specific Density (ρ) T. Strength (σt) Carbon Nanotubes are 10 times much stronger than Carbon Fiber & 20 times much stronger than Steel Source:
  30. 30. Challenges for High Speed Flywheels Year Carbon Fiber Carbon Nanotubes 2016 $0.018 $0.16 2015 $0.022 $0.18 2014 $0.027 $0.20 2013 $0.031 $0.23 *Price (USD/gram) Cost approximately 9 times that of Carbon Fiber Solution:  Drive CNT prices down through Mass Production  Use of existing manufacturing process  Use of renewable resources for manufacturing (Materials & Energy) Source: Multi-source (please refer to the comments section)
  31. 31. New Industry/ Product Opportunities for Carbon Nanotubes Energy Electronics Silicon replacement semi conductor circuit Solar heat electric generation Power semiconductor heat dissipater Power cables Aircraft body fortifying material High electric conductivity rubber roller Wind power generator fan blade High temperature range visco-elasticity High Functionality Materials Structural Materials
  32. 32. Challenges: 1. High Cost of CNT 2. Manufacturing CNT to create new and different structural and functional properties suitable for different applications Solutions: 1. Driving down CNT prices through mass production 2. Exploit existing manufacturing process (e.g.: CVD) 3. Use of renewable resources (material & energy) to reduce manufacturing cost Once these challenges are overcome, the growth in global CNTs demand is expected to accelerate thereafter. Based on the trend analysis, our team projects that Carbon Nanotubes would become feasible, around 25 years from now for majority of the applications
  33. 33. T H A N K T H A N K Y O U Y O U