Is investing in nanotechnology a get rich quick scheme? No.

Unlike speculating on cryptocurrencies or investing in the development of a mobile phone app that might go viral, the nanotechnology industry has a solid manufacturing base making raw materials for a diverse range of customers.

Already, nanomaterials are being used in the electronics sector, in agriculture, in the battery and construction industry, in the plastics and pharmaceutical industry, in making composites, rubbers, glass, packaging, and coatings.

In addition to this, hundreds of new applications for nanomaterials are being discovered every year.

But why are so many industries demanding nanoproducts as raw materials?

Demand for nanomaterials is high because at the nanoscale incredible things happen.

Nanomaterials are regular raw materials that have been made at a very small size. In layman’s terms, if someone were buying wood, they could buy a whole tree, or 1 ton of planks, or one ton of wood chips, or one ton of saw dust. To take the wood to a smaller scale, the carpenter could even burn the wood and sell one ton of very fine ash.  

While it would all be one ton of wood, the material has different properties, different uses, and a different value at each scale.

Nanomaterial producers are able to take a product like carbon, silicon, or copper and rather than form it in bag, bricks, or bars, they can sell it at a tiny scale.

A sample jar containing carbon nanotubes each measuring less than 100 nm in diameter.

The official size of a nanomaterial is smaller than 100 nanometres or 0.0001 mm.

Even the thinnest hair on a fly has a diameter of about 5,000 nanometres.

At this scale, materials have added advantages and perform differently. Just as wood chips may be useful as garden mulch, but planks are better for building a fence.

Three Advantages of a Material at a Nanoscale

1.       Simply put, materials can be manipulated to have completely new properties, becoming magnetic, super strong, flexible, transparent, or thermally and electronically conductive.

“These behaviours often defy the classical laws of physics and chemistry,” says the University of Sydney’s Nano Institute, “and can only be understood using the laws of quantum mechanics.”

This ability to modify ingredients so that they have additional properties is of great value to manufacturers. For example, car tyres with added carbon nanotubes can be made 20% lighter (reducing fuel consumption), more durable (lasting twice as long), and electrically conductive (a crucial requirement in tyres).

2.       Their small size gives them a larger surface area allowing for more reaction space. This means that nanoparticles can become super-potent and effective.

3.       The miniscule dimensions of nanomaterials allows them to interact in different ways with other materials. In doing so, they can pass on specific properties to a larger mass. For example, nanoparticles can be mixed into coatings to provide paints that create a surface which kills bacteria and viruses on contact.

The consequence of being able to produce raw materials with such exceptional properties has been a surge of investment to expand research and production for a nascent industry.

For example, the financial journal Investing News explains how, “In the US, the National Nanotechnology Initiative, a US government research and development initiative that involves 20 federal and independent agencies, has received cumulative funding of US$27 billion since 2001 to advance research and development of nanoscale projects.”

While analysts at GAEU Consulting noted that, “The European Commission estimates the sector to be worth in excess of US$1 trillion, and is considered to be growing.” Specifically, that in a 4-year period at the start of the decade, “… the EU alone invested approximately € 896 million in nanotechnology related research. The worldwide investment in nanotechnology is estimated to be close to a quarter of a trillion USD…”

But this does not mean that it is too late to begin supporting the nanoindustry, as companies are still finding new products and processes and bringing them to market. Because of nanomaterials’ versatility this includes new products to markets that are already expanding, such as plastics, concrete, fertilizers, and electronics.

One such company, is the Czech business AG CHEMI GROUP, which has more than 25 years of experience supplying raw materials to manufacturers. In the past decade, the company (who host this webpage) has seen the growth in demand for nanomaterials, which has resulted in the company expanding its product portfolio to include nanoparticles and patented nanotechnology processes.

Consequently, today the company offers nanomaterial solutions in the fields of plastics and elastomers, antiviral/antibacterial suspensions, resins, and emulsions, pathogen destroying fabrics, and nanomaterial approaches for the construction industry (including a patented process for recycling building site waste into a raw material for concrete).

The company is also building a Research Centre focused on nanotechnology and production optimization which is due for completion in January 2021. This will be followed by the construction of a nanomaterial plant with production capacity of up to 1,000 tons per year.

So, is an investment in nanotechnology a get rich quick scheme?

Absolutely not, it is an investment in bricks and mortar companies that are making real products and raw materials that have markets in every corner of the world and in every sector.

To find out more about the company’s portfolio and how to invest in nanotechnology, visit: AG CHEMI GROUP.

Photo credit: Kerem Yucel from FreeImages, Virvoreanu Laurentiu from Pixabay, 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay, Stephanie Ho from Pexels, AGCHEMIGROUP, & Rodolfo Quirós from Pexels