Promethean Particles starts production

 Ed Lester 445
12 Jul 2016 09:30:00.000

University of Nottingham spin-out business, Promethean Particles, has opened the first facility in the world which is capable of producing thousands of different nanomaterials.

Nano particles have a huge variety of uses. They can be used in artificial bone, scratch proof coatings, printed electronics and flame retardant materials. Promethean's groundbreaking plant has the potential to manufacture over 1000 tonnes of nano-materials every year.

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The plant was developed as part of a pan-European nano-materials research programme, known as SHYMAN (Sustainable Hydrothermal Manufacturing of Nanomaterials). The project, which had a total value of €9.7 million Euros, included partner universities and businesses from 12 European countries.

Commercial applications
Companies including Solvay, Fiat, PPG, Repsol and others, were all looking to have specific nanomaterial developed into commercial products in a variety of applications including healthcare, coatings and nanocomposites.

The outcome of the project was the creation of the largest multi-material nano-particle plant in the world, based in Nottingham. The plant is now operated by Promethean, and it is able to operate at supercritical conditions, producing up to 200 kg of nano-particles per hour.

Speaking about the project, Professor Ed Lester, Technical Director of Promethean Particles said: “This new facility opens up a significant amount of new opportunities for us. We have already had a lot of interest from companies in a diverse range of sectors. From healthcare, where nano-particles can be used in coatings on medical devices, to enhanced fabrics, where nano-materials can add strength and flexibility to textiles, and in printed electronics, as we are able to print materials such as copper.”

Exploring the potential of new technologies
The SHYMAN project was funded by the European Union’s Framework Programme 7 (FP7), which enables universities and businesses across Europe to explore the potential of new technologies in industry.

Dr Susan Huxtable, Director of Intellectual Property and Commercialisation at The University of Nottingham, said: “These are very exciting times for Promethean Particles. The new facility opens up myriad opportunities for them to sell their services into new markets right across the world.

"It is a great example of how many of the technologies developed by academics here at The University of Nottingham have the potential to benefit both industry and society.”

For more details about Promethean Particles, visit 

To find out more about The University of Nottingham’s services for business, visit 

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits

For further details about Promethean Particles, email Professor Ed Lester or tel: 0115 967 8119
Nick King  

Nick King - Marketing and Communications Manager, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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