Kumho Petrochemical begins CNT production

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Kumho Petrochemical begins CNT production

Kumho Petrochemical (KKPC) said yesterday it has begun mass production of carbon nanotube (CNT) at its plant in Asan, South Chungcheong, four years after the company announced the development of the high-tech material.

CNT is considered a next-generation material, with electric conductivity 1,000 times better than copper and tensile strength 100 times stronger than iron, according to the company. The material has applications for batteries, semiconductors, automobiles and appliances.

KKPC said its plant, which is built on 43,860 square meters (472,105 square feet) of land, will produce 50 tons of CNT a year but plans to produce 300 tons in the future.

According to research group IDTechEx, the global market for CNT is expected to reach 80 trillion won ($76 billion) in 2020.

KKPC said it is rolling out three CNT products under the brand “K-Nanos.”

The company said it will expand its business portfolio starting with the CNT sales. It aims to produce plastic materials using static electricity resistant materials, electromagnetic wave shielding materials and additional compound resins. In the long term, KKPC said it will work with tire companies to build a lightweight and durable tire using compound rubbers.

“The potential of CNT is that it can connect with various industries,” said KKPC Chairman Park Chan-koo. “Not only cooperating with KKPC’s existing business of compound rubber or resin and electronic materials, we will also seek partnerships leading other companies to maximize the potential of CNT.”

KKPC said it signed a CNT supply contract with major local company.

KKPC, founded in 1970, is the nation’s leading synthetic rubber maker. Its chairman, Park Chan-koo, is the younger brother of Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

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