Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc. (CNI) Brings in New Investors; Announces Plans to Scale Up Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes

- CNI to increase production ten-fold with new test reactor.

- NASA studies use of buckytubes for aerospace-related applications.



Apr 11, 2001, 01:00 ET from Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc.

    HOUSTON, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc. (CNI) today
 announced the signing of an agreement that provides $l5 million of additional
 funding that will enable CNI to make single wall carbon nanotubes (buckytubes)
 in sufficient quantities to be used in prototype industrial applications.
     The new investors, Gordon Cain and William McMinn, join original
 shareholders, Dr. Richard Smalley, Bob Gower, and Drs. Ken Smith and Daniel
 Colbert in a venture that is the first in the market with significant
 quantities of buckytubes, which can revolutionize the products of numerous
 industries.  From a base in Houston, Gordon Cain and Bill McMinn have jointly
 invested in a wide array of businesses ranging from leveraged buyouts in the
 chemical industry to early funding of genome-based companies.
     Buckytubes are nanometer-scale carbon structures with unprecedented
 characteristics.  Among the most promising initial applications are for flat
 panel displays, electromagnetic shielding enclosures for electronic equipment,
 conductive polymers, lithium ion batteries, high strength fibers, solar energy
 converters, electronics, and composite materials.
     NASA has intense research underway to utilize buckytubes in multiple
 aerospace-related applications.  NASA envisions uses ranging from vehicle
 structures to biomedical sensors.  "We expect buckytubes to revolutionize
 technologies useful to the space program, possibly opening the frontier by
 providing enabling functions that are only dreamed about today.  This
 commercialization provides the initial steps toward a futuristic reality for
 wide-ranging applications," according to Brad Files, nanotube project lead at
 Johnson Space Center.
     NASA was one of the early funders of the research at Rice University that
 led to the formation of CNI.  Others have included Texas Advanced Technology
 Program, Robert A. Welch Foundation, Office of Naval Research, and National
 Science Foundation.
     CNI was founded in early 2000 to commercialize technology developed over
 the last several years by Dr. Smalley, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry
 in 1996 for the discovery of buckyballs.  CNI has been granted an exclusive
 license for this technology by Rice University, which received an equity
 position in CNI.
     The new capital will allow CNI to build a test reactor, at its West
 Houston headquarters, with about 10 times greater capability than current
 equipment.  "This reactor will allow us to study process variables and achieve
 gas flow rates similar to those in industrial production," said Bob Gower,
 President of CNI.  The company also plans further scale up of the process by
 constructing a pilot plant over the next 12-15 months.  This will provide
 substantially larger volumes of product into the market, an important
 intermediate step before a commercial production facility is built.
     CNI will utilize the HiPco(TM) process, a high pressure process using
 carbon monoxide as the feedstock, to create high purity buckytubes, single
 wall carbon nanotubes that approach molecular perfection.  These fullerene
 molecules are carbon cylinders only one billionth of a meter in diameter, have
 electrical conductivity of copper, thermal conductivity of diamond, and
 tensile strength 100 times that of steel.
     Until recently, buckytubes had been a laboratory curiosity, with
 tremendous promise.  CNI is now developing the capability to produce
 buckytubes in sufficient quantity for prototypes of end use applications and
 expects to have commercial scale production within 3-4 years.
 
 

SOURCE Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc.
    HOUSTON, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc. (CNI) today
 announced the signing of an agreement that provides $l5 million of additional
 funding that will enable CNI to make single wall carbon nanotubes (buckytubes)
 in sufficient quantities to be used in prototype industrial applications.
     The new investors, Gordon Cain and William McMinn, join original
 shareholders, Dr. Richard Smalley, Bob Gower, and Drs. Ken Smith and Daniel
 Colbert in a venture that is the first in the market with significant
 quantities of buckytubes, which can revolutionize the products of numerous
 industries.  From a base in Houston, Gordon Cain and Bill McMinn have jointly
 invested in a wide array of businesses ranging from leveraged buyouts in the
 chemical industry to early funding of genome-based companies.
     Buckytubes are nanometer-scale carbon structures with unprecedented
 characteristics.  Among the most promising initial applications are for flat
 panel displays, electromagnetic shielding enclosures for electronic equipment,
 conductive polymers, lithium ion batteries, high strength fibers, solar energy
 converters, electronics, and composite materials.
     NASA has intense research underway to utilize buckytubes in multiple
 aerospace-related applications.  NASA envisions uses ranging from vehicle
 structures to biomedical sensors.  "We expect buckytubes to revolutionize
 technologies useful to the space program, possibly opening the frontier by
 providing enabling functions that are only dreamed about today.  This
 commercialization provides the initial steps toward a futuristic reality for
 wide-ranging applications," according to Brad Files, nanotube project lead at
 Johnson Space Center.
     NASA was one of the early funders of the research at Rice University that
 led to the formation of CNI.  Others have included Texas Advanced Technology
 Program, Robert A. Welch Foundation, Office of Naval Research, and National
 Science Foundation.
     CNI was founded in early 2000 to commercialize technology developed over
 the last several years by Dr. Smalley, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry
 in 1996 for the discovery of buckyballs.  CNI has been granted an exclusive
 license for this technology by Rice University, which received an equity
 position in CNI.
     The new capital will allow CNI to build a test reactor, at its West
 Houston headquarters, with about 10 times greater capability than current
 equipment.  "This reactor will allow us to study process variables and achieve
 gas flow rates similar to those in industrial production," said Bob Gower,
 President of CNI.  The company also plans further scale up of the process by
 constructing a pilot plant over the next 12-15 months.  This will provide
 substantially larger volumes of product into the market, an important
 intermediate step before a commercial production facility is built.
     CNI will utilize the HiPco(TM) process, a high pressure process using
 carbon monoxide as the feedstock, to create high purity buckytubes, single
 wall carbon nanotubes that approach molecular perfection.  These fullerene
 molecules are carbon cylinders only one billionth of a meter in diameter, have
 electrical conductivity of copper, thermal conductivity of diamond, and
 tensile strength 100 times that of steel.
     Until recently, buckytubes had been a laboratory curiosity, with
 tremendous promise.  CNI is now developing the capability to produce
 buckytubes in sufficient quantity for prototypes of end use applications and
 expects to have commercial scale production within 3-4 years.
 
 SOURCE  Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc.