A new study has revealed that Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNT) produced by BNNT Technology Limited using patented Deakin technology have reportedly the highest purity among commercial products in the world.
Conducted by another leading Australian University, the independent analysis of seven commercially available Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNT) samples from around the world confirms Deakin’s place at the forefront of this cutting-edge nanofibre technology.
Co-inventors of Deakin’s BNNT manufacturing process Professor Ian Chen, Deakin’s nanotechnology group leader; and Dr Luhua Li, Senior Research Fellow at Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM), welcomed the outstanding result.
“The commercialisation of BNNTs is the culmination of two decades of research and it is exciting to see the rapid progress that is being made”, Chen said.
“We have always been confident in the scalability and quality of our technology, but it is still pleasing to see such a stunning independent validation,” Li said.
BNNTs are super flexible fibres that are 100 times stronger than steel but as light as carbon fibre, with potential applications in industries ranging from aviation to mining, medicine, and space travel. They are notoriously expensive to produce, with one kilogram valued at $900,000, and difficult to manufacture at scale.
IFM has led global research in BNNTs for a number of years, becoming the first in the world to develop and patent technology that allows BNNT to be manufactured in bulk for the first time.
In 2018, IFM licensed its BNNT manufacturing technology to BNNT Technology Limited, a start-up based at the University’s ManuFutures facility in Geelong. The company’s new $3 million plant at ManuFutures began production in 2019 and is now in the advanced stages of scaling up to meet worldwide demand for BNNT product in a variety of new material applications.
Deakin’s Executive Director of Research Innovations, Ben Spincer, believes BNNT Technology could become a major new business, boosting Geelong’s reputation as the home of advanced manufacturing in Australia.
“BNNT Technology has the potential to be one of the standout success stories of University commercialisation in Australia, and has already led to three further spin out businesses,” Spincer said.
“As part of a broader partnership between Deakin University and the PPK Group, joint venture companies have already been established to use advanced BNNT composite materials in Li-S battery (Li-S Energy Ltd) and3D dental ceramics (3D Dental Technology Pty Ltd) with more expected to follow.
“We look forward to continuing our support of BNNT Technology at ManuFutures both as a shareholder and research partner as it seeks to fulfil the exponential growth in global demand for BNNTs.”