NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- A4.02-7982 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 024017 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Space Structures, Materials, and Manufacturing
PROPOSAL TITLE: Production of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes by Catalytic Disproportionation ...

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Southwest Nanotechnologies, Inc.
2516 Warwick Drive
Oklahoma City , OK   73116 - 4324
(405 ) 325 - 4940

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Leandro Balzano
2516 Warwick Drive
Oklahoma City , OK   73116 - 4324
(405 ) 206 - 5979

The unmatched properties of single-wall nanotubes make them a unique product that will represent a billion-dollar market in applications that range from space to consumer products. At the University of Oklahoma, the catalytic production of SWNT has been optimized in a novel process (CoMoCAT) based on a specific catalyst formulation that yields SWNT with high selectivity. A fluidized bed reactor is particularly suitable to achieve optimal synthesis conditions and make the process continuous. A good-quality SWNT product has been consistently obtained. The present proposal will focus on the gradual improvement of the current CoMoCAT technology to make it able to operate in a continuous, larger-scale mode that will result in low SWNT costs. The anticipated results of the phase I include the development and testing of the continuous, large-scale reactor and the scale up of the purification process. Phase II is visualized as a direct application of the optimized process at an even larger scale that will incorporate the participation of strategic partners for the development of SWNT-based materials. The carbon nanotube is 100x stronger than steel, yet 1/5th the weight. SouthWest NanoTechnologies will commercialize nanotubes for their structural properties, meeting a direct need for NASA, and providing the next generation of lightweight composites for industries worldwide.

A4.02 - Space Structures, Materials, & Mfg.

The estimated market value of carbon nanotubes is $400MM USD in FY2004. SouthWest NanoTechnologies, Inc. will focus on the near-term structural ?killer applications? in Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes. Compiled from a variety of sources, these include composite materials, electromagnetic shielding material, and thermal materials. The aforementioned products will create the demand of the future, and result in demonstrable near-term revenue. This focus is decidedly unique, as the company has a formal relationship with a Fortune 100 company, and is currently negotiating a joint development agreement.

With all due respect to the ongoing Contour program, we tread cautiously along what appears to be a crucial need for high-end structural technologies. As of 8/20/02, the mission is still active, though early reports indicate the spacecraft may have broken in two. NASA spokesman Don Savage was quoted in a CNN story, ?The failures hurt but they do happen.? Thus, an approval of this proposal demonstrate tangible and decisive steps toward correcting the problem at its source. Based on NASA's specific needs, this material could be formed into ultra lightweight discontinuous fiber composites for several targeted aerospace applications.

Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10