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Firm focused on world's longest nanotube, job growth

Deploying new technology for growing the world's longest carbon nanotubes has created a world of possibilities for Cincinnati-based General Nano LLC in the aerospace/defense, biomedical, electronics and sensor industries.

Created in 2007 to advance the commercial application of groundbreaking research at the University of Cincinnati Nanoworld and Smart Materials and Devices Laboratory, General Nano is hoping to tap into the commercial market for the lab's creation of the world's longest carbon nanotubes, 18 mm.

Because of their excellent properties of electrical conductivity, heat resistance and extremely light weight, the nanotubes have tremendous commercial potential in such industries as aerospace, where lightweight conductive devices are highly desirable, says General Nano President and CEO Joe Sprengard, Jr.

In fact, General Nano has received phase I and II grants from the U.S. Air Force Small Business and Innovation Research Program of $400,000, plus an Imagining Grant of $25,000 from CincyTech.

The nanotubes, which are less than the thickness of human hair and float on ambient air, could eventually replace copper wire on aircraft and satellites, making them much lighter and more efficient, says Sprengard.

"About 4,000 pounds of the weight of a jet fighter is copper wire. Nanotubes would be a small fraction of that weight."

General Nano has four employees now and expects to double that number next year as it begins commercial manufacturing of the nanotubes. Sprengard said in addition to the jobs created at General Nano itself, there will be many more jobs created through the contract manufacturers that are chosen for the project, although he cannot name them yet.

Source: Joe Sprengard, General Nano
Writer: Val Prevish

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