The joint research team's project to increase thermal conductivity in carbon nanotube (CNT) fibers was selected for its potential to reduce energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions from high-emitting industrial subsectors and move the nation closer to a net-zero economy.
HOUSTON, Feb. 6, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- DexMat, a climate tech moonshot company creating high-performance, low-carbon materials, today announced that its work to increase thermal conductivity in carbon nanotube (CNT) fibers with Rice University has received $1.5 million in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding.
The DOE Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office funding is earmarked for projects that will reduce industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and move the nation closer to a net-zero economy. DexMat and Rice University's High Thermal Conductivity Carbon Nanotube Fibers for Improved Heat Exchange project will do exactly that, by revolutionizing heat exchange and spurring substantial energy efficiency gains throughout a cross-cutting array of industries.
Playing an integral role in a wide swath of industries, heat exchangers can be found everywhere from HVAC and power generation, to the food and beverage industry and refrigeration, to pharmaceuticals and aerospace.
The DexMat-Rice research team has already developed — and recently multiplied production by 20x — Galvorn, a high-performing carbon nanomaterial offering an abundant, environmentally-friendly alternative to steel, copper, aluminum, and other dirty incumbent materials in a host of applications, including heat exchangers. For this project, researchers will focus on increasing Galvorn fiber's thermal conductivity to better-than-copper levels, while demonstrating textile-based CNT devices for potential use as heat exchanger fins in industrial applications, with a long-term target of replacing the aluminum or copper traditionally used with Galvorn.
"Decarbonizing industry is a complex, multi-dimensional challenge," said Bryan Hassin, CEO, DexMat. "Most people are unaware of the massive amount of energy used in chemical refining, water treatment, or manufacturing. Improving efficiency of heat exchangers reduces the emissions impact across all these processes, and doing it with sustainable materials doubles the benefit. We're thrilled that the DOE recognizes the opportunity we have ahead of us, and we look forward to realizing it with our partners at Rice."
"The high thermal conductivity and high specific surface area make Galvorn products appealing for heat exchange applications," said Geoff Wehmeyer, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Rice University. "The goal of this project is to further enhance the thermal conductivity of carbon nanotube fibers and demonstrate new textile-enabled CNT heat exchange geometries, with the goal of improved efficiency and lower emissions in the industrial sector."
"Creating textile-based heat exchangers allows us to leverage the strength and flexibility of Galvorn; it's a powerful example of what makes this material so valuable," said Colin Young, Senior Research Scientist, DexMat. "Galvorn's unique combination of superior properties means we can create novel solutions for challenges both old and new."
Recognizing its high-impact potential to help decarbonize the industrial sector, the DOE included the DexMat-Rice project as one of 49 recipients in its recent $171 million funding round, resourced by President Biden's Investing in America Agenda. Of the $1.5M federal funding, 80% will go to Rice, 20% to DexMat, to support a 24-month project period.
To learn more about the project, read the DexMat blog post.
We're a climate tech moonshot company that believes carbon is the problem — and the solution. Our flagship material, Galvorn, is made entirely of carbon — with the potential to be sourced from hydrocarbons, renewable fuels, and captured carbon — and vastly outperforms traditional alternatives like steel, aluminum, and copper.
We're scaling nanomaterials properties and production, thanks in part to research by Professor Matteo Pasquali and his team at Rice University. We're refining and commercializing the business with support from Shell Ventures, the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the United States Air Force, ARPA-E, and others.
When adopted at scale across industries such as energy, aerospace, and automotive, Galvorn represents a multi-gigaton carbon reduction opportunity by creating the building blocks necessary for a cleaner economy.