William Blythe Ltd (a Synthomer Group Company), a specialty chemicals and advanced materials manufacturer based in Lancashire, UK, scales up graphene oxide production to meet increased demand for the novel material.
Graphene oxide is a derivative of graphene, the 2D material discovered at the University of Manchester by two Nobel Prize-winning scientists Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov. Utilizing existing capabilities and know-how in chemical manufacturing, William Blythe Ltd began developing its graphene oxide material in 2015. Due to increasing demand, the company has accelerated the scale-up, taking production from lab-scale to a 50-tonne capacity of high purity graphene oxide dispersion product.
Commenting on the work Business Director, David Crossley, said; “We identified graphene oxide as an exciting opportunity for the William Blythe business, which aligned with the company’s core capabilities enabling safe & cost-effective production at scale. Graphene oxide is an important addition to our advanced materials product portfolio and we look forward to supplying graphene oxide to many new and emerging applications.”
Process Development Chemist, Jack Carroll added; “After joining the company full time in 2017 I began working with graphene oxide at a small laboratory scale. Engagement from project partners and customers highlighted the need for increased volumes, and our team across R&D, Engineering, and Quality Control have worked tirelessly to bring the development of graphene oxide at William Blythe to the next stage of the journey. We are proud to have achieved this important milestone.”
William Blythe has been at the forefront of graphene oxide production throughout the material's lifetime. After launching its own webshop to supply small quantities of the material in 2016, the company proceeded to work with world-leading organizations such as the National Graphene Institute to further understand its material properties and investigate next-generation technologies such as lithium-ion batteries and water filtration.
About William Blythe
William Blythe has been a world leader in the development of inorganic chemicals since its formation in 1854. From its origins of creating dyestuffs for the textile industry in the North West, the company has evolved many times to become a leading manufacturer of tin, copper, and iodine derivatives that are supplied into applications such as gas purification absorbents, flame-retardant synergists for plastics and iodine-containing food additives. Since 2012 the company has invested significantly in developing advanced materials such as graphene oxide and doped-metal oxides, expanding the product portfolio into new chemistries and applications. The company now employs over 80 workers from the local area, takes part in apprenticeship schemes, and attracts graduates from top universities in the UK to work in both R&D and engineering. It also collaborates with innovative organizations to develop new technology platforms and interacts with elite UK academic institutions on early-stage innovation.
Synthomer develops and markets polymers used in a wide range of industries to create and enhance everyday consumer products. It holds leading positions in its chosen markets and has a proven record to generate added value for its customers through in-depth application know-how and strong R&D support. Synthomer is one of the world’s major suppliers of latices and specialty polymers supporting leadership positions in many market segments. It uses its technical expertise and R&D capability to deliver a competitive advantage by helping customers to create successful products and to improve the efficiency of its manufacturing operations.