The key element of novelty of the innovation is the potential to produce carbon nanostructures by microwave plasma cracking of natural gas on a continual basis under atmospheric pressure and at industrial scales. The main research project will aim to iden tify and specify commercially promising results as soon as possible.
Production of carbon blacks by Gasplas cracking of natural gas will have a competitive advantage over furnace blacks because of lower level of impurities like sulphur, as well as no othe r emissions like CO2, CO, SOx, NOx etc. The GasPlas is a highly innovative, unique reactor with high risk but also upside to provide ultrapure, high-value products.
The underlying idea is to apply the Gasplas reactor to produce homogeneous, high value ca rbon products from hydrocarbons like methane on a continual basis in industrial volumes. There is a substantial commercial global potential in this market, particularly in dozens of materials applications. The project will explore, refine and select the m ost promising conditions under which valuable carbon nanostructures can be produced, i.e. both identify the 'low hanging fruits' and start exploring the more advanced carbon nanostructures like CNT and carbon fibers.
The first application is likely to be UV carbon black (carbon particles of 20-50 nm) as additive for plastics production of water pipes, in collaboration with Norner Innovation AS. Other quick-win plastics can also be relevant. Industrial joint-ventures are planned established, for instance CB-Plas AS as joint-venture between Norner Innovation and GasPlas AS.