FutureChemistry Holding BV (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) and Flowid BV announced that they entered into a process development agreement with Solterra Renewable Technologies, Inc., to apply flow chemistry for high volume production of high quality tetrapod quantum dots. These quantum dots, Solterra’s proprietary technology, will enable low cost production of solar energy. The agreement is the product of the MOU that Solterra, FutureChemistry and Flowid signed in 2009, defining a collective output goal that supports daily production amounts that had previously taken months or possibly years to produce.
Image credit: FutureChemistry
The continuous flow chemistry technology developed by the Dutch companies FutureChemistry Holding BV and Flowid BV, enables rapid assessment of input parameters to control output characteristics of the quantum dots and high parallel capacity for increased production. The unique properties of flow chemistry offer unprecedented control over the chemical manufacturing process. This tight quality control enables the quantum dots to be used in specific technology applications where the unique behavior of the quantum dots can be harnessed. Together, FutureChemistry and Flowid provide the expertise necessary to find optimal process conditions and subsequently scale the synthesis of the quantum dots to necessary levels. With larger quantities of quantum dots, Solterra will be enabled to pursue its near-term goal of reaching 1 gigawatt of solar cell production.
Research Director of FutureChemistry Pieter Nieuwland explains about continuous flow chemistry: "Testing new chemical reactions is often performed in a traditional way: step by step. With the technology of FutureChemistry and Flowid, these reactions become full-continuous processes that we can optimize with our software and translate to much larger reactors. This project will be an exciting showcase for flow chemistry, and it will prove that the technology is now reaching maturity.”
Solterra’s vision to significantly increase available solar energy generation and to bring low cost quantum dots to the LED, display, broader optoelectronic and biomedical research markets is enhanced by this project. Significantly increased production volumes will enable the Company to readily enter developing technology markets that will come to rely on a steady stream of affordable, high quality quantum dots.