MANHASSET, N.Y. Nanotechnology company NanoDynamics has received a $729,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the U.S. Army for carbon nanotube (CNT) production technology, and a critical patent on solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) structures.
NanoDynamics (Buffalo, N.Y.) has been working with the U.S. Army since Dec. 2004 to develop CNT-based solutions to soldier protection applications. Under an earlier Phase I SBIR, NanoDynamics demonstrated the feasibility of continuous, cost-effective manufacturing commercial quantities of modified CNTs that show promise for use in smoke screening and other applications.
"The protection of military targets is critical and is often accomplished using infrared obscurants to mask the movement of troops and materiel," said Keith Blakely, chief executive of NanoDynamics, in a statement. "Existing obscurant technologies can be limited in their performance. Carbon nanotubes offer a potentially unique solution, but they can be expensive to produce, with prices as high as $500 per gram. We have developed a method of synthesis that can dramatically reduce the cost of producing CNTs."
NanoDynamics was also granted a critical U.S. patent on SOFC structures. U.S. patent No. 6,998,187, entitled “Solid Oxide Fuel Cells with Novel Internal Geometry," which describes ways of manufacturing compact durable fuel cells with high efficiency.
"Manufacturing fuel cells for optimal space utilization, robust construction and ease of manifolding is key to their success in portable power applications," said Dr. Caine Finnerty, technical director for fuel cells at NanoDynamics and the primary inventor of the technology, in a statement. "Optimizing the internal geometry of the cell has helped to reduce losses associated with current collection and fuel utilization whilst providing some novel opportunities for gas introduction and system design."