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NanoHorizons Wins National Science Foundation Grant

Posted: July 27, 2011

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded NanoHorizons a research grant on the use of nanoscale silver as an antifouling composite for Ocean Renewable Energy Systems.

NanoHorizons Inc., a provider of nanoscale additives for healthcare, textile and industrial applications, today announced that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the company a six-month research grant to determine the optimal combination of reinforced composite material and nanoscale silver antimicrobial additives that meet antifouling performance specifications of the marine environment and ocean renewable energy systems. The project’s novel composites are reinforced with conductive carbon nanotube-infused glass fiber and, as such, have the potential to be the first electro-activated “on demand” antifouling solution, thereby dramatically reducing the amount of antifouling agent required to maintain ocean energy infrastructures.

Along with requirements of strength, light weight and durability, antifouling (the prevention of surface growth of marine organisms) is a key challenge in developing the components of systems that can successfully produce ocean renewable energy. Ocean renewable energy--ranging from wave, tidal and ocean current to wind, salinity gradient and thermal gradient—is emerging as a promising alternative energy source to fossil fuels. According to the Electric Power Research Institute, ocean renewable energy may possibly supply up to 400 terawatt hours of clean power annually or roughly ten percent of today’s global demand.

“Beyond the need for a viable energy renewal source,” states James Delattre, Vice President Global Marketing, NanoHorizons, “long-lasting marine composites with an effective antifouling solution could also have a beneficial impact on the US shipping industry and military. The US Navy alone, for example, spends over $2.1 billion a year in fleet maintenance. Thus, our NSF study may have both short and long-term significance.”

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