Food Processing Plants to begin using Nanotechnology

Scientists have successfully used nanotechnology to create a contaminant-resistant surface for stainless steel, which they claim can increase production efficiency and productivity and safeguard food safety.

The article found here discusses that scientists have discovered by the use of nano materials coated on stainless steel during milk processing cuts down on product fouling, contamination, and even plant efficiency. Essentially, a safer, cleaner, better product. There is no reason this kind of technology breakthrough can’t be used in other food preparation areas. I’m sure the meat processing industries and vegetables processing are already investigating these ideas.

This is a short blog today but it’s interesting as it deals with our everyday lives and how behind the scenes things are improving to make our products fresher, and more importantly, safer for us and our families.


Refinery Solvent

Recently we’ve only talked about products and solutions in the nanotechnology space without talking about some of our own products. This is a blog to inform what’s going on around us but what’s going on inside our walls are equally interesting.

We have two refinery solvent solutions that dissolve asphaltene from pipes in the oil and gas industry. People in that industry know this problem all too well. There are some solutions for this problem already but, like anything, there is a cost to them. One is time, one is effectiveness, and one is a monetary cost. There is one more cost which is environmental. We have both a synthetic based solutions and organic solution for different types of problems on different types of materials. The early tests to eliminate asphaltene has been 4 to 5 times more effective than current solutions. Here is a link to the product page:

By using our solvent the asphaltene is eliminated quicker, less downtime, and is also cost effective for users especially if a shut-down is needed to handle the situation currently. Look for more information on this but I wanted to share this with our followers.

The Christmas Bulb from Santa

To every man who puts up the Christmas Tree know…the hardest part is getting the lights working! Researchers at Wake Forest University have developed in their WF Nanotechnology Center Labs light bulbs that don’t shatter and are almost indestructible, last longer than fruitcake, and if one light bulb in the middle goes bad…wait for this…the rest of the bulbs work! I’m waiting for this to hit the market because I’m going to be the first one getting them!

The bulbs are not hollow and don’t even have filament. They can be any color of the spectrum and are made of three layers of molded plastic that glow when turned on. They are also over twice as efficient than new compact fluorescent bulbs so they even save on the old pocket book! Merry Christmas!

It’s not a cure…it’s better

Researchers at the University of Delaware have been working on a pretty interesting project. Leukemia in children is 1/3 of all childhood cancers. There is a 90% survival rate of 5 years or longer today with those inflicted and receiving chemotherapy treatment. Those are pretty good odds but side-effects to the drugs cause long-term problems as well. Part of that reason is that the cancer drugs typically kill a lot of healthy cells in the way of killing the cancerous cells. Not a perfect scenario, but the best we have right now. What the University of Delaware folks have come up with is the use of nanotechnology in helping the cancer drugs get delivered to the cancerous cells and bypass the healthy ones. It’s not a cure for the cancer but it’s a way of minimizing the collateral damage that often associates itself with cancer treatments, especially with growing children. Let’s face it…cancer is bad enough but a child with cancer is as bad as it gets. Here is the entire article from the University of Delaware’s website : Leukemia Cancer Drug Carrier

Nanotechnology is developing and creating wonderful advances in all areas of science and commerce, but when it can help children as we hope this advancement can, it makes it just a little bit special. Keep up the great work University of Delaware!

Single Walled Nanotubes take both Heat and Sunlight and Convert to Electricity

Researchers from the University of Texas Arlington and Louisiana Tech came up with a hybrid SWNT that can not only take sunlight and create electricity with it but also heat. SWNT have been used in the past to produce transparent solar cells and all-carbon solar  cells and the hybrid, although singularly does not improve upon the photovoltaic solar cells out there, but the dual purposes do. Up to 80% improvement from what the research has so far concluded.

We manufacture and sell SWNTs and MWNTs at SkySpring so this is fascinating to us. Here is the entire article for your consideration. Of course they are a long way off and perhaps early commercial use isn’t with solar power or large items but rather chips and medical devices. Regardless, it’s a fascinating look at what can be done with true synergy. Either sun nor heat along make it better…but being able to use both make it extremely powerful.

IBM hits it Big on Nanotechnology

If you didn’t get it I used a play on words for the title. If you did…you are getting my sense of humor:)

The big brains from big blue used 8 very smart guys to come up with a chip test that made over 10,000 working transistors on a single chip using carbon nanotubes. For you that are new to carbon nanotubes, this is the Mac Daddy of nanotechnology. People have been touting carbon nanotubes for sometime but it’s taking some time to really start reaching some of the pent up potential. The entire article can be found here.

Carbon fiber planes, cars, and yes…even boats are appearing in the marketplace as a replacement to steel as it is stronger and lighter. The carbon nanotubes are smaller and more efficient. Now, if they can only get it cheaper and easier to process is the $64 million question (inflation, you know). I know we are a long way off but this is a fabulous job and kudos to the guys at IBM!

Copper Nanotechnology to the Rescue!

As the environmental movement is gaining ground for good reason the electronics industry is no stranger to that as well as improvements for all of mankind. Since the electronics industry wants to limit the use of lead and other potentially harmful materials from their products they need a way to replace lead solder that takes place on circuit boards and other areas. Tin is a substitute but causes problems at higher temperatures that can short-circuit boards as well as other issues. Scientists in the Advanced Materials and Nanosystems directorate at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Palo Alto have developed a revolutionary nanotechnology copper-based electrical interconnect material, or solder, that can be processed at high temperatures and once fully optimized, the CuantumFuse solder material is expected to produce joints with up to 10 times the electrical and thermal conductivity compared to tin-based materials currently in use. Read the entire article here.

It’s cheaper, better, and more environmentally friendly. What’s not to love??? Remember, this nanotechnology doesn’t work without nano materials. SkySpring Nanomaterials is one of the best places to get them.

Nano or Macro Innovation

Today’s blog is simply about innovation. Now innovation is innovation whether it comes at the nano level or the macro level. Most of the time the true ground breaking innovation comes from small companies or individuals because larger corporations, the bigger they get, have a buearocratic approach that often kills innovation because someone with a larger payscale “thinks” it’s a bad idea.

Xerox had a million great ideas that were used by Microsoft, Apple, and the similar nimble smaller companies but never brought to market by themselves. Heck, Xerox invented email. Imagine if all of their ideas (that others’ used), let alone ideas that never escaped Xerox’s compounds but were never used, were tested and even remotely successful. They might be what everyone is talking about instead of Apple, Facebook and the likes. Instead they end up being the poster boy for what not to do.

To truly benefit from innovation there must be a fostering environment and the ability for that idea to be tested instead of being shot down. If someone will pay over $1 million for a baseball card of a player less than 1% of the population ever heard that was originally wrapped next to a piece of bubble gum, anything is possible. The reason I wrote this was I was watching one of those car shows on cable and there is a 3rd generation of custom car builders that transforms vision into reality. Yes, it comes at a price…a price probably so steep they never mentioned it. But the meaning is here is a car that has a million pieces that’s almost entirely hand made. I’m sure those guys never say “we can’t do it” but rather “how can we do this”. The end result was simply amazing. Never seen anything like it and it goes to show what true innovation not only mean, but what it represents.

Efficiency improvements on Combustion Engines

Yesterday I discussed a little about the Solar Cell improvements reaching 18.2%. Since combustion engines have been around for about 160 years or so we should note that 20% is its norm.  A few twists on old concepts have inventors and the marketplace alike buzzing. I’m only going to mention two of them for this blog today.

1)      Liquid Piston is a small company that created an engine that has 3 moving parts and 13 total parts. A typical engine has about 240 parts. Well, this little baby can theoretically make the engine 75% efficient although it’s settling for 57% for commercial applications. It can be found at

2)      The Hüttlin Kugelmotor is a revolutionary motor that is round and within itself it can be a electric engine, combustion engine, or even compressor pump. Now, I read it twice but not sure what it all means but it’s very efficient, very intriguing, and more interesting than reading poetry (no offense to poetry readers). It can be found at

The idea is to improve drastically upon what we already have and have something that is able to be mass produced. I don’t buy the theory that Detroit or the large oil companies wouldn’t want this or those types of theories that were probably reality 50 years ago. I do buy that they want the leading edge over their counterparts and having a game changer in their portfolios would be that edge. It will be interesting how soon some of these types of ideas can be made reality for the masses and which ones they will be.

UMass Lowell adds Emerging Technology & Info Center to their Campus

Just wanted to send out a kudos to the University of Massachusetts/Lowel for the unveiling of their $80 million academic Emerging Technologies and Information Center. It’s the first new building on campus in three decades. Great to see some fabulous vision in our midst. You can find the article below: