Nanotechnology Manufacturer Testifies Before Congress on 'State of the Technology'

Feb 15, 2006, 00:00 ET from Altair Nanotechnologies Inc.

    RENO, Nev., Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The president and CEO of Altair
 Nanotechnologies (Altairnano), today urged the Senate Committee on Commerce,
 Science and Transportation to provide increased federal funding for
 nanotechnology, suggesting that the initiative could be compared to the man-
 on-the-moon or Human Genome projects.
     "What we need is an initiative -- similar in scope to the Human Genome
 project -- with the goal of establishing broad empirical data and models for
 the predictability of the environmental, health and safety risks of
 commercially-interesting nanomaterials," said Alan J. Gotcher, Ph.D.,
 president and CEO of Altairnano.  "Private-sector participation is critical --
 federal funding to for-profit companies has to be accepted as a trade-off for
 their sharing of results."
     In a committee hearing on the future of nanotechnology, Gotcher provided
 details on such Altairnano products as its unique Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery
 materials that can enable the production of full-sized, fully-electric
 vehicles with the same acceleration and cruising speeds as conventional
 vehicles.  He also described chemical/biological sensors that can detect and
 display information about life-threatening biohazards, and stressed that
 companies such as Altairnano are committed to maintaining a strict sense of
 environmental stewardship.
     "The hyperbole about nanotechnology is tremendous, but the potential for
 this technology to change our lives in many fundamental and positive ways is
 real," said Gotcher.  "For instance, our innovative nano-structured electrode
 materials for Li-ion batteries will enable realistic production of fully-
 electric vehicles unlike any available today.  Those vehicles will, in turn,
 help us break our dependence on foreign oil."
     And those vehicles are just several years down the road.  Recently,
 Altairnano produced and tested its first batch of Li-ion battery cells at its
 Indiana-based facility.  Data reveal that unlike other batteries, Altairnano's
 cells have twice the power of current batteries, yet function safely in
 extreme temperatures.  They are able to start and run at minus-22 degrees
 Fahrenheit, and function safely up to 480 degrees -- particularly important
 considerations in such extreme environments as aerospace and military
     As for the chemical/biological sensors, Altairnano continues its work with
 the universities of Western Michigan and Nevada-Reno to develop arrays capable
 of detecting a wide spectrum of potential explosives, chem/bio weapons and
 illegal drugs.
     Gotcher was one of only two industry voices asked to testify during the
 hearing on "Developments in Nanotechnology."  For a copy of his testimony, or
 an interview, please contact Matt Taylor (202-367-1631,
     Altair ("Altairnano") is a leading supplier and innovator of advanced
 ceramic nanomaterial technology.  Based in Reno, Nevada, Altairnano has
 assembled a unique team of materials scientists who, coupled in collaborative
 ventures with industry partners and leading academic centers, have pioneered
 an array of intellectual property and products.  The company has scalable
 manufacturing capability to meet emerging nanomaterials demands.  Altairnano's
 two divisions, Life Sciences and Performance Materials, are focused on
 applications where its nanotechnology may enable new high growth markets.  For
 additional information on Altairnano and its nanomaterials, visit

SOURCE Altair Nanotechnologies Inc.