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New Hollow Carbon Particle a Potential Replacement for Carbon Black

From Nanowerk News comes word of a new hollow carbon particle produced from biomass, which could potentially become a replacement for carbon black (and presumably silica as well).

Katsumi Kamegawa, the Biomass Refining Technology Team, the Biomass Technology Research Center of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), has developed a new method for producing ultra-lightweight hollow carbon fine particles (diameters ranging from several nanometers to several tens of micrometers) from lignin, which is a byproduct obtained in large quantities during the manufacture of paper or bio-ethanol, and inorganic salts.
Rubber or plastics can be reinforced by these particles, instead of carbon black, and would be lightweight materials with improved properties.
The lightweight hollow carbon fine particles developed in this study have sizes in the range of a few nanometers to several micrometers. Since these hollow carbon particles have large surface areas and the fabrication conditions can be controlled to obtain carbon particles with good elasticity, we will conduct researches in applications to rubber reinforcing materials, lightweight filler, flexibility-imparting materials, heat insulators, electrical conductors, anti-static materials, adsorbents, and controlled-release materials.
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