ConocoPhillips Makes Investment in SouthWest NanoTechnologies

Article excerpt

ConocoPhillips has invested capital and intellectual property rights in SouthWest NanoTechnologies.

The investment allowed SouthWest NanoTechnologies to begin construction of a pilot plant to manufacture single-wall carbon nanotubes at a cost low enough to accelerate their commercialization in several specialty applications. The proprietary manufacturing technology was developed at the University of Oklahoma with support from ConocoPhillips, under the direction of Daniel E. Resasco, S.A. Wilson Professor of Chemical Engineering.

SouthWest is manufacturing and selling single-walled carbon nanotubes under the trade name CoMoCAT.

"Tailoring the catalytic material is essential to attain maximum control of the quality and structure of the nanotubes. This catalyst tailoring is one of our strengths," says Resasco, co- founder and chief scientist for the company.

Nanotubes are hollow cylinders made of carbon atoms with a diameter about 100,000 times smaller than a human hair. Possessing electrical, thermal, and structural properties, nanotubes are considered the most promising known technology to enable major technological advances in high-volume specialty markets, including flat panel displays, structural composites, catalysis, electromagnetic materials, and others.

"The ConocoPhillips strategic partnership positions SouthWest NanoTechnologies to lead the single-walled carbon nanotube segment," says William E. Nasser, CEO and co-founder of SouthWest NanoTechnologies.

ConocoPhillips has had a long-standing business interest in carbon products, having provided financial support and business consulting services to the University of Oklahoma's early research. …