Cambridge Nanosystems sign agreement with FVG of Malaysia

by Jane Moorman

Dr Krzysztof Koziol is the Chairman of the new company Cambridge Nanosystems, who have recently signed a contract with FGV Partners and Cambridge University Scientists to become world’s first to produce high grade carbon nanotubes and graphene from by-product of palm oil plantations.

Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV), the largest palm oil plantation operator in the world, managing 950,000 ha of land, is set to become the first company in the world to pioneer and produce high grade Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene from by-products of palm oil plantations, such as methane.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, The Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abd Razak witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today between FGV and with Cambridge Nanosystems Ltd from United Kingdom, a spin-out from the University of Cambridge. The MoU is for both parties to develop an innovative downstream production of High Grade Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) and Graphene using state-of-the-art and newly developed nano-systems technology.

Signing on behalf of FGV was its President and Chief Executive Officer, Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah, while Cambridge Nanosystems Ltd was represented by its Chairman, Dr Krzysztof Koziol. Also present at the signing was FGV Chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Isa Haji Abdul Samad.

This unprecedented feat culminates years of efforts by scientists around the world to harness this promising material. High Grade CNT and Graphene has the potential to launch a new generation of electronic devices that run faster, whilst using less energy – a new era of CNT electronics, which has long been considered as a potential successor to the silicon transistor.

Apart from electrical devices, CNT and Graphene have the potential usage for next generation communication cables such as computers as well as for underwater cables. By converting carbon-containing by-products, this innovative revolutionary invention in Green Technology will forever change global industries from aviation, oil and gas, electricity and nuclear power, among others, paving the way for a safer and more sustainable ecosystem.

The joint venture between FGV and Cambridge Nanosystems Ltd will form a strategic partnership that will enhance value for both parties. FGV will provide the raw material for the production of CNT and Graphene whilst Carbon Nanosystems Ltd will provide proprietary technology to produce a series of CNT which is produced via a nano-systems technology.

According to FGV Chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Isa, the collaboration marks an achievement that will galvanise efforts for FGV to move towards other non-food and high value products.

“Green technology has strong potentials to stimulate economic growth while mitigating environmental degradation.  With the growing momentum in scaling up the green agenda, at FGV, which is part of the Felda Group, the world’s largest palm oil operator of about 950,000 ha of land, we are honoured that FGV has managed to attract the attention of researchers in the CNT community. This has ultimately led in the collaboration with us to produce high grade CNT, using the abundance of our palm oil plantation resources,” said Isa.

The team of scientists at Cambridge Nanosystems Ltd has extensive knowledge and experience with a decade of research and development in CNT, providing an edge in such technology. Moreover, the heavy involvement of the lead scientist in the CNT community has positioned the company as the world’s leading expert in CNT.

“The partnership with FGV will further enhance technological innovations achieved by Cambridge Nanosystems. We welcome this partnership as it will accelerate deployment of our compact production systems, on large scale. Most importantly, we are able to utilise the by-products of palm oil plantation, such as methane, for conversion into ultra-high grade advanced materials, namely graphene and carbon nanotubes”, said Dr Krzysztof Koziol.

In this rapidly emerging industry, the effective use of methane wastes makes the operation economically viable and ecologically desirable.

FGV President and Chief Executive Officer, Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah said, “The MoU signed today is the result of our continuous efforts to focus on innovation as we expand further. The production of High Grade CNT and Graphene using the latest advanced and breakthrough technology developed by a group of Cambridge scientists, enables methane and other by-products from crude palm oil to be used as the raw input at very low costs, yet producing high quality materials.”

“With the increasing demand for High Grade CNT and Graphene globally such as for automotive, aerospace and consumer product industries, there is a ready market for us while at the same time, we continue to penetrate new markets.

It is thus a win-win situation for both FGV which supplies the crude palm oil and reuses by-products as raw material, and Cambridge Nanosystems Ltd through the cutting-edge technology in the production of high performance materials.