HOUSTON –– Bayer MaterialScience AG has begun construction of a new facility for the production of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in Chempark Leverkusen, Germany. The new plant will have a capacity of 200 tons per year. The company will invest about EUR 22 million in the planning, development and construction of the plant.
 
"Bayer MaterialScience AG is investing in a key technology of the future that will open up a broad range of new applications for us,” said Joe Ventura, Business Development Manager, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. “Bayer MaterialScience AG is one of the few companies that can produce carbon nanotubes of consistently high quality on an industrial scale,” continued Ventura.
 
A pilot plant with an annual capacity of 60 tons has been in operation in Laufenburg in southern Germany since 2007. Production involves a catalytic process in which the carbon nanotubes are obtained from a carbon-containing gas at elevated temperature in a reactor.
 
Bayer MaterialScience LLC recently obtained regulatory approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to sell Baytubes®, its multi-wall carbon nanotubes, in the United States. The approval covers Baytubes® C 150 P and HP grades that are currently produced in the Laufenburg plant.
 
Bayer MaterialScience can now take a product from the research laboratory to a broad spectrum of applications relevant to society, such as energy, the environment, mobility, safety and construction. Baytubes are already being used to produce tough, extremely strong, lightweight materials. This means, for example, that rotor blades for wind turbines are more energy efficient, that transport containers weigh less and that sports equipment can be made more robust.