As per this three-year grant, SWeNT and OU plan to strike partnerships with automotive manufacturers and Li-ion battery producers to develop fully battery-powered vehicles. Nanocomposite paste formulations containing SMW CNTs will be sold to fabricators of finished cathodes and battery manufacturers.

The low capacity of the Li-ion batteries can be attributed to the fact that conductive carbon black particles within the battery cathodes begin to separate during charging and discharging, thereby reducing the ability of the network to conduct electricity and heat.

According to the company, SMW CNTs, by virtue of its long tubular shape form three-dimensional networks, thus facilitating a greater conductivity at lower loading than carbon black particles. These networks are expected to withstand swelling/de-swelling and thermal/mechanical stresses.

Dave Arthur, CEO of SouthWest NanoTechnologies, said: “We plan to demonstrate that our SMW carbon nanotubes are the best cost/performance solution of all available carbon nanomaterials for Li-ion batteries used in automotive and other applications.

“Our success could lead to significant economic growth for the state of Oklahoma, as well as help enable a key strategic initiative for our country – to stimulate domestic production of Li-ion batteries for electric powered vehicles and greatly reduce our dependency on foreign oil.”