The company was shortlisted, along with its partners, in the Manufacturing Technology category for its SHYMAN process, which offers an alternative route to manufacture and unique opportunities for the synthesis of high-quality nanoparticles and their formulation.
Designed to address key challenges in the future development of nanotechnology, SHYMAN (sustainable hydrothermal manufacturing of nanomaterials) adopts a unique approach to continuous hydrothermal synthesis delivering numerous benefits to the manufacturing process for nanoparticles and enabling full scalability.
“Continuous hydrothermal synthesis is a relatively new technology and offers a viable alternative to existing production methods. Historically, new methods and processes for developing nanomaterials have been difficult to implement due to challenges in material quality, scale-up, formulation and the cost of production," said Laurie Geldenhuys, CEO at Promethean Particles. “Working with 17 partners around Europe, the SHYMAN project has demonstrated how continuous hydrothermal synthesis can be scalable, sustainable and cost-effective while ensuring stability, reproducibility and consistency for every application.
Promethean has created the world’s largest multi-ton scale nanoparticle manufacturing plant, which has seen manufacturing capability increase from one ton per year to more than 1,000 tons, to support the development of the technology and nano-enabled applications.
The continuous hydrothermal synthesis produces nanoparticulate materials by mixing superheated/supercritical water with a solution of a metal salt. The two fluids are continuously mixed rather than slowly heating the entire contents of a batch vessel.
The step from batch to continuous hydrothermal synthesis has been held back by engineering issues around mixing the heated fluid and the aqueous metal salt flow. T piece reactors that have been used in the past are viewed as problematic as the reactors frequently block, discouraging the commercial use of this technique. Promethean has developed a new patented reactor design which shows a dramatic improvement in process reproducibility and reliability, as well as providing the ability to control particle properties like size, composition and shape, through the manipulation of process variables.
The award ceremony takes place on Nov. 6, 2019, at The Gable, London.