CNTs in all of their forms are considered “gamechanger” materials that will revolutionize the modern world through many diverse applications. Over 20 years of research has gone into CNT materials, yet we still see their limited use in many real-world applications. Part of the reason is because it has remained a challenge to engineer these extraordinary nano-scale building blocks into covalently interconnected three-dimensional (3-D) macro-forms, and to realize macro-scaled sizes via an economical commercial synthesis process.
Our novel “NanoSponge” product meets this need and provides MWCNTs in a novel macro-form having a 3D CNT solid network that extends the extraordinary 1D nanoscale properties into 3D space on a macro-scale. This is the competitive advantage that will allow us to pioneer new markets for CNT materials.
The founder of CSSN created and patent protected a 3D CNT “NanoSponge” foam-like material by catalytic chemical vapor deposition (CCVD) using boron impurities in the precursor during the growth process (please see Hashim et al.  and paper published in the “Peer-Reviewed Scientific Publication” section of the Appendix). It is this breakthrough in CNT technology that will open up a myriad of applications for CNTs into new industrial markets.
The boron impurity process converts the individual one-dimenisional CNTs into a three dimensional macrostructure foam or “NanoSponge” material.
The as-produced CNT nanosponge has a randomly intertwined 3D structure and displays high porosity and very low density. The CNT nanosponge can float on oil contaminated water and remove oil with a large adsorption capacity (80 to 120 times their own weight for a wide range of solvents and oils). The sponge had a tendency to move to the oil film area due to its highly oleophilic yet superhydrophobic properties, leading to the unique “floating-and-cleaning” capability that is very useful for spill cleanup. The oil-saturated CNT sponge can be easily regenerated through gentle heating/evaporation (or refining the oil out), or mechanical compression to recover the valuable resources, or directly burning the oil out leaving the sponge structure intact and not destroyed.
The superhydrophobic NanoSponge being used on the surface of water to soak up various organics and oil at the surface to demonstrate an oil-spill-cleanup application. NanoSponge can be manipulated with magnets and can be burned or squeezed out to salvage oil. The CNT “NanoSponge” materials possess a variety of extraordinary multifunctional properties, all of which make them advantageous over common CNT materials being used in the market today. These multifunctional properties are listed in the Figure below and allow CNTs to be used in niche markets that common CNTs may not be able to reach.
Overview of the multifunctional properties of CNT NanoSponge made by CSSN.
Please see the video demonstration of the various multifunctional properties of our advanced CNT “NanoSponge” material: