Promethean Particles, a global leader in the development and manufacture of high-specification nanoparticles for industry, has been named as a finalist in the prestigious Collaborate to Innovate Awards, hosted by The Engineer publication.

The company has been shortlisted, along with its partners, in the Manufacturing Technology category for its novel SHYMAN process,which offers an alternative route to manufacture and unique opportunities for the synthesis of high quality nanoparticles and their formulation.

Designed to address key challenges in the future development of nanotechnology, SHYMAN (sustainable hydrothermal manufacturing of nanomaterials) adopts a unique approach to continuous hydrothermal synthesis delivering numerous benefits to the manufacturing process for nanoparticles and enabling full scalability.

Laurie Geldenhuys, CEO at Promethean Particles, said: “Continuous hydrothermal synthesis is a relatively new technology and offers a viable alternative to existing production methods. Historically, new methods and processes for developing nanomaterials have been difficult to implement due to challenges in material quality, scale up, formulation and the cost of production.

“Working with 17 partners around Europe, the SHYMAN project has demonstrated how continuous hydrothermal synthesis can be scalable, sustainable and cost effective, while ensuring stability, reproducibility and consistency for every application.

“We are delighted to be shortlisted for this award which recognises the impact that disruptive technologies like ours can have on the future of manufacturing, as well as the importance of collaboration within the industry to drive forward change and innovation.”

Promethean has created the world’s largest multi-ton scale nanoparticle manufacturing plant, which has seen manufacturing capability increase from 1 ton per year to more than 1,000 tonnes, to support development of the technology and nano-enabled applications.

Continuous hydrothermal synthesis produces nanoparticulate materials by mixing superheated/supercritical water with a solution of a metal salt. The two fluids are continuously mixed togetherrather than slowly heating the entire contents of a batch vessel.

The step from batch to continuous hydrothermal synthesis has been held back by engineering issues around mixing the heated fluid and the aqueous metal salt flow. T piece reactors thathave been used in the past are viewed as problematic asthe reactors frequently block, discouraging the commercial use of this technique. Promethean has developed a new patented reactor design which shows a dramatic improvement in process reproducibility and reliability,as well as providing the ability to control particle properties like size, composition and shape, through the manipulation of process variables.

Judged by a panel of leading UK engineers, the Collaborate to Innovate Awards provide a fascinating insight into the trends and technologies that are defining modern engineering, while highlighting the collaboration between industry and academia to solve fundamental problems across a variety of sectors.The award ceremony takes place on November 6 , 2019 at The Gable, London.