Global Success of Nanotubes Created in Russia Celebrated with Russian Federation National Awards in Science and Technology

18 June 2020

Winners of the 2019 Russian Federation National Awards in science and technology were scientists from Kutateladze Institute of Thermophysics of the Siberian Branch (SB) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS): Academician Mikhail Predtechensky, Academician Dmitry Markovich and Professor Vladimir Meledin. They were recognized for creating the foundations of the global industry of single-wall carbon nanotubes and for proving that new diagnostic techniques for non-equilibrium systems and their management were scientifically sound.

Scientists at Kutateladze Institute of Thermophysics SB RAS have been conducting fundamental and applied research into non-equilibrium systems of molecular clusters for many years. These studies became the basis of the world’s only scalable technology for the industrial manufacture of single-wall carbon or graphene nanotubes, which was created by Academician Mikhail Predtechensky. Establishing the OCSiAl company ensured the idea found its practical application.

Academician Mikhail Predtechensky

Academician Mikhail Predtechensky

“At present, graphene is a cutting-edge material and so are single-wall carbon or graphene nanotubes. We could expect that, as the stone and bronze ages that came before it, this period of technological advances, characterized by today’s light and durable carbon-based materials, will be referred to as the age of carbon,” said Mikhail Predtechensky is an academician and R&D Head at OCSiAl.

RUSNANO was the first external investor that believed in the team of Russian founders of OCSiAl and their graphene nanotube technology. Overall, RUSNANO invested more than $20 mln in the project, starting with funds provided for the construction of the first synthesis unit in Novosibirsk.

“Mikhail Predtechensky is truly one of the greatest scientists in academia who was the first to understand that even the most extraordinary findings of fundamental research are often difficult to market,” said Anatoly Chubais, Chairman of the Board at RUSNANO Management Company LLC. “After all, anything that solves your clients’ specific problem sells well. Academician Mikhail Predtechensky has this unique ability to use research study results to create an innovative product that is in high demand on the global market. The best example of this is the OCSiAl project, which RUSNANO was a part of. Its founders wished to achieve an ambitious goal—to design an industrial-scale manufacturing process for graphene nanotubes, a universal additive capable of changing properties of materials it is added to. Only a few years ago, the idea seemed impossible, but today OCSiAl has essentially created its own global market for graphene nanotubes. I truly believe that Mikhail Predtechensky is one of Russia’s globally recognized entrepreneurs in manufacturing technologies. And I am immensely happy that his contributions to science and innovative business have been recognized by the government.”

OCSiAl the biggest manufacturer of graphene nanotubes

OCSiAl the biggest manufacturer of graphene nanotubes

OCSiAl is the biggest manufacturer of graphene nanotubes. Nowadays, OCSiAl, which produces 90% of the global supply of graphene nanotubes, is the biggest manufacturer of this unique material. More than 600 companies from all over the world purchase OCSiAl products, i.e. nanotubes under brand name TUBALL™. And the number of buyers keeps on growing.

By 2020, OCSiAl’s capitalization reached $1.5 bln according to external investor estimates. Hence, reputable western experts included OCSiAl in the list of unicorn startup companies, the Global Unicorn Club.

The country’s leadership has shown that they highly value OCSiAl’s innovations by awarding the Russian scientists behind them with the 2019 Russian Federation National Awards for outstanding achievements in science and technology. Most importantly, the method of synthesizing graphene nanotubes, designed by Academician Mikhail Predtechensky, found its application on an industrial scale. In fact, for the first time since the inception of these awards some years ago, the winners were employees of a private company, who have achieved success in a sphere that is not part of the natural resources sector of Russia’s economy.

Additional information

Reference

RUSNANO Joint-Stock Company was founded in March 2011 through reorganization of state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. JSC RUSNANO contributes to implementation of the state policy on the development of the nanotechnology industry by investing directly and through investment funds of nanotechnology in financially effective high-technology projects providing the development of new production facilities in the Russian Federation. Its primary investment focus is in electronics, optoelectronics and telecommunications, healthcare and biotechnology, metallurgy and metalwork, energy, mechanical engineering and instrument making, construction and industrial materials, chemicals and petrochemicals. 100 percent of RUSNANO’s shares are state owned. Thanks to RUSNANO’s investments, there are currently 115 factories and R&D Centers opened in 37 regions in Russia.

Management of assets of RUSNANO JSC is carried out by Limited Liability Company established in December 2013, RUSNANO Management Company. Anatoly Chubais is the Chairman of its Executive Board.

Work to establish nanotechnology infrastructure and carry out educational programs is fulfilled by RUSNANO’s Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, which was also established during the reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.

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OCSiAl, a RUSNANO portfolio company, is a manufacturer of TUBALL™ single-walled carbon nanotubes, an innovative additive that improves the properties of most well-known materials. Nanotubes have advantages over other additives due to their exceptional characteristics: high conductivity (while 5 times lighter than copper), heat resistance (up to 1,000°C), durability (100 times stronger than steel) and others. A mere 0.01% of TUBALL™ allows you to radically change the specific properties of materials. OCSiAl’s range of concentrates makes it easy to work with nanotubes. TUBALL™ MATRIX makes the materials conductive without any negative impact on the colour of the finished product, improves rheological and physical and mechanical properties of elastomers, composites, coatings and batteries. The company accounts for 90% of the global single-walled nanotubes market. OCSiAl’s production capacity reaches 10 tonnes and will be increased to 60 tonnes by 2018. The company has representative offices in Russia, Luxembourg, the USA, South Korea, China, Hong Kong and India.

For additional information, please visit ocsial.com