Being the first in South East Asia, a team of researchers lead by Prof. Dr Abdul Rahman Mohamed from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) discovered the continuous production method of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) using rotation reactor. The method developed is reported to be significantly more efficient than the previous methods used.
CNTs are widely applied as composite material in production of biomedical and electronic end products, electrochemical devices, sensor and probes. Due to its mechanical strength, lightweight and ideal electronic properties, CNTs are highly in demand. Japan, China, United States and Korea are among the countries that currently producing this valuable material.
Using this improved method, the production cost of CNTs is reduced from USD 100-700 to USD 15-35 for each gram with production capacity of 1000g a day. This system is reported to be environmental friendly as it operates at atmospheric conditions with minimum reactor space required.
Prof. Abdul Rahman together with Dr. Chai Siang Piao, Seah Choon Ming, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lee Keat Teong and Yeoh Wei Ming contributed to the success of this project. Currently, CNTs are produced using this improved method by Advance Nanocarbon Sdn. Bhd., a spin-off company of USM. Multiple international awards have been attained by Advance Nanocarbon including a Gold Medal at the International Jury of IENA in 2009 as well as a Special Prize for Technical Culture-Creation and a Gold Medal at the 33rd International Exhibition of Invention, New Techniques and Products in Geneva in 2005.
The success of this project marks the impact of research in Malaysia on the economy and technological advancement in the area of engineering.
USM News – USM researchers found new method for production of carbon nanotubes in Southeast Asia
The Sun Daily – USM engineers develop ways to mass carbon nanotube
ScienceDaily – New Method for Continuous Production of Carbon Nanotubes
Photo credit: Geoff Hutchison @ Flickr