- TUBALL Awards annually acknowledge pioneering researchers working on industrial applications of graphene nanotubes
- Award: $10,000; announcement at NAUM 2020; partner agreement with OCSiAl
- Scientists developing projects with graphene nanotubes receive free samples of TUBALL nanotubes
Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs, also known as graphene nanotubes) are often called “the building material of the future” because of their ability to improve almost all materials around us. Graphene nanotubes are already widely used in the aerospace, automotive, construction, mining, electronics and transport industries.
How graphene nanotubes improve materials
Even when introduced in amounts as small as tenths or even hundredths of a percent Graphene nanotubes can drastically improve the properties of well-known materials – in particular their strength and conductivity. For example, graphene nanotubes are expected to help improve the efficiency of electric vehicles by as much as 60%.
In addition, nanotubes enable energy costs to be reduced at all stages of the product life cycle by reducing the amount of resources required for production, reducing the weight and quantity of the materials used, decreasing energy consumption during operation and disposal, and increasing the products’ lifespan.
Thousands of researchers across the globe are working with SWCNTs and achieving impressive results. The TUBALL Awards were established by the Luxembourg-based start-up OCSiAl to help bring these breakthrough developments to people’s lives. OCSiAl is the world’s largest manufacturer of SWCNTs.
The TUBALL Awards were initiated by OCSiAl, an innovative “unicorn” company that is based in Luxembourg. OCSiAl is among the 3% of companies on the unicorn list that focus on green technologies. OCSiAl produces nanotubes under the TUBALL™ brand name. The pre- eminence of TUBALL™ nanotubes is related to their exceptional properties, such as superior conductivity, high temperature resistance, strength and flexibility. OCSiAl is currently the world’s largest producer of graphene nanotubes.
The company is now rapidly expanding its business. By the end of 2019, it had increased its annual production capacity to 75 tonnes of SWCNTs and opened a new technical support center in China. The company plans to launch the first train of the world’s largest graphene nanotube synthesis facility and a center for applied nanotechnology in 2023 in Differdange. The project will create up to 200 jobs for highly qualified scientists and engineers. Headquartered in Luxembourg, OCSiAl is represented in the USA, Russia, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Israel and India. ocsial.com
First-ever battery electrode that works at 100% of its theoretical capacity.
The first annual TUBALL Awards were held in 2019 and the winner was a scientist from Ireland for a breakthrough in lithium-ion batteries. Prof. Jonathan Coleman from the AMBER Centre at Trinity College Dublin, collaborating with Nokia-Bell Labs Ireland and other AMBER researchers, developed technology that uses TUBALL SWCNTs in the cathode and anode of a lithium-ion battery instead of the conventional additive carbon black.
Thanks to the exceptional properties of SWCNTs, the research group was able to make the first-ever battery electrode that works at 100% of its theoretical capacity. The results that Prof. Coleman and the AMBER/Nokia team have achieved in the laboratory pave the way to make batteries more compact, scalable for industry, quicker to charge and with 2.5 times more energy density than any battery currently on the market.
Call for researchers: participate in the TUBALL Awards!
OCSiAl invites researchers worldwide to participate in the annual international TUBALL Awards. These Awards are the first to acknowledge R&D projects using SWCNTs across the whole range of their commercial applications.
The winner, who will be announced at this year’s “Nanoaugmented Materials Industry Summit” (NAUM 2020), will be granted a prize of $10,000 (the equivalent of 9,000 EUR) and have the opportunity to enter into a partner agreement with OCSiAl. Scientists interested in project development with SWCNTs, irrespective of whether they also wish to apply for the Awards, receive free samples of TUBALL nanotubes.
Applications for this year’s Awards opened on 1 January 2020 (https://awards.tuball.com). Any individual researcher or research group from around the globe can participate. The Award will be given to a project that is designed to significantly improve the properties of industrial materials and that contributes to the development of global industries.
Editor: Michèle Weber (FNR)