Global carbon nanotube market to grow to around 4000 tonnes by 2023

Japan’s Yano Research Institute Ltd. (Tokyo) has released a report, in Japanese, that among its findings predicts a global carbon nanotube (CNT) market of 3,931.1 tonnes by 2023, representing compound annual growth of 12.8%. The global CNT market in 2018 was pegged by Yano at 2,255.8 tonnes, representing 118.5% year-on-year growth.

Showa Denko (SDK) completed a 400-tonnes/y plant for VGCF-X, a new grade of carbon nanotube with a diameter of 15 nm and an optimized design for resin composite applications, in March 2010. The plant is the second carbon nanotube production facility for SDK.

The report’s definition of CNTs includes the VGCF product offered by Japan’s Showa Denko with diameter of around 150 nm or more that has a similar structure to conventional CNTs and is used as a lithium ion battery (LiB) material. Conventional CNTs possess diameters of one to several dozen nm, and Showa Denko also offer such a product for polymer composite applications.

Yano reports that prices for single-wall CNTs have been declining and consequently, their application scope has widened to include conductive and antistatic paints and coatings, thermoset and thermoplastic resin composites, glass, asphalt and tires. Multiwall CNTs, meanwhile, are experiencing demand growth in LiB conductivity auxiliary applications as electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) production growth and the China market expands.

CNTs can extend LiB life compared when carbon black and graphite powder are employed. The 2018 global market for LiB conductivity auxiliaries was estimated at more than 10,000 tonnes, of which multilayer CNTs accounted for a more than 15% market share.

Recent plastics-related developments include a conductive polychlorotrifluoroethylene resin from Taiyo Nippon Sanso, and a CNT/carbon fiber thermoplastic composite by Arkema.

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