A plant that will produce the world’s first high grade carbon nanotubes and graphene from by-product of oil palm plantations is expected to be built in Malaysia soon.
The project, to be undertaken by FGV Cambridge Nanosystems (FGV-CNL), will have the capacity to produce between 50 and 100 tonnes of the products a year.
Cambridge Nanosystems chairman Dr Krzysztof Koziol, the inventor of the cutting-edge technology, said Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), which owns 70% of FGV-CNL, is currently scouting for the best location for the plant.
He, however, declined to reveal the timeline to build the plant. “Most importantly, we need a location that has plenty of energy and abundant of space,” he told a briefing to update Malaysian media on the progress
being made by FGV-CNL.
Dr Koziol said the development of the products marked a new horizon and would revolutionise various industries, including aerospace, telecommunications, medical, electronics, oil and gas, electricity and nuclear power.
Since the end of January, a plant located here is already producing one kilogramme per hour of high grade carbon nanotubes and graphene using natural gas, he said, adding that a full-scale production in Malaysia could worth billions.
FGV, the largest oil palm plantation operator in the world, managing 950,000 hectares of land, is set to become the first company in the world to pioneer and produce high grade carbon nanotubes and graphene from by-products of oil palm plantations such as methane once the plant is ready.
FGV and Cambridge Nanosystems Ltd, a spin-out from the University of Cambridge, signed a memorandum of understanding last year for the venture.
Saying that FGV made the right move to venture into the industry, the 37-year-old Dr Koziol said high grade CNT and graphene have the potential to launch a new generation of electronic devices that could run faster using less energy as well as a new era of CNT electronics, which has long been considered as a potential successor to the silicon transistor.
“Apart from electrical devices, CNT and graphene have the potential usage for next generation communication cables such as computers as well as for underwater cables,” said Dr Koziol who has 15 patents under his belt.