Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) hosted a meeting at its sprawling 1,500-acre San Antonio campus on February 13th to brief a 7-person team from Harcros Chemicals, Inc., view the Gen 3 continuous production reactor and outline plans for construction of a pilot production unit for Harcros.

“Exactly one year after SwRI hosted a group of Avadain stakeholders to view the Gen 2 mid-scale reactor, SwRI was able to unveil the Gen 3 continuous production reactor for our manufacturing partner, Harcros,” Avadain CEO Brad Larschan said. “This is another huge milestone for Avadain and a further step in cementing our relationship with Harcros.”

SwRI is the largest applied research institute in the US, providing contract R&D services to government and industry. Founded in 1947, it has about 3,000 employees. SwRI is a nonprofit research institute specializing in the creation and transfer of technology in the physical sciences and engineering.

“We were very impressed with SwRI and the upscaling work they’ve done,” said Brad Walden, Harcros’ VP for Business Development. “Harcros can’t wait to start producing graphene with Avadain’s technology. We see graphene as an exciting new product line,” Walden added.

The gathering in San Antonio gave Avadain and Harcros the opportunity to view the Gen 3 continuous production reactor, discuss the chemistry and engineering, and learn SwRI’s plans for building a pilot production unit to be located at Harcros’ Kansas City headquarters. It also gave Avadain and Harcros the opportunity to discuss further collaboration and business development opportunities.

“This was a great opportunity for us to meet with the Harcros team that will be responsible for bringing graphene production online,” said Phil Van Wormer, Avadain’s Chief Commercial Officer. The Avadain team at SwRI also included Andrew Knott, VP for Manufacturing Implementation, and Dr. Kevin Wyss, graphene chemical process engineering consultant for Avadain. Dr. William Grieco, chemical engineering advisor to Avadain, participated virtually.

The upscaling of Avadain’s technology to continuous production has been funded under a $3.77 million project grant from the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Julia Faeth of the RAPID Manufacturing Institute, the project manager, also participated in the meeting.