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SABIC Acquires Majority Stake in Black Diamond Structures.

SABIC recently announced that it has taken a majority stake in Black Diamond Structures (BDS), a nanotechnology company established in 2014. BDS produces and commercializes MOLECULAR REBAR[R], a proprietary technology of modified carbon nanotubes that offers the potential to enhance performance of energy storage applications using lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries.

BDS is being added as part of SABIC's specialties business. According to Alan Leung, vice president of specialties, the carbon nanotube technology of BDS will allow them to provide battery manufacturers improvements in charge rates, battery cycle life, and energy density. He also envisions that adding the MOLECULAR REBAR technology to the portfolio of SABIC's specialties business may open new opportunities beyond the energy storage market, such as innovations in material science that could enhance the properties of specialty resins and functional compounds.

Conventional carbon nanotubes are known to get entangled, cake, and hold high residual impurities, limiting their capability to enhance electrical and mechanical material properties in real world applications. By contrast, the MOLECULAR REBAR product supplied by BDS delivers clean and discrete carbon nanotubes of uniform aspect ratio, enabling their use to create high-performance energy storage applications. Tests have shown that MOLECULAR REBAR type carbon nanotubes significantly improve the cycle life of a lead-acid battery and enhance the performance of lithium-ion batteries.

BDS chief executive officer John Hacskaylo says this proprietary nanomaterial can be directly incorporated into existing battery production processes without requiring additional investments, allowing a fast-track for manufacturers to improve their next generation of products. Moreover, Hacskaylo expects MOLECULAR REBAR to play a role in the downgauging and downsizing of new battery designs; this not only meets the growing global demand for lighter batteries in the hybrid and electric vehicles market, but also reduces battery production costs.

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Title Annotation:INDUSTRY NEWS
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:Feb 1, 2019
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