EPA Green Lights Nanodiamond Imports

First company is granted registration to import nanodiamonds, which have been shown to significantly boost thermal and mechanical performance of polymers.

Within the last two years, we have reported on Finland’s Carbodeon, represented in the U.S. by Silicon Sense, and its acceleration of its nanodiamond additives business for industrial use via expanded manufacturing capacity.

Nanodiamond additives, which have joined the commercial arsenal of thermally-conductive fillers, have been shown to significantly boost the thermal and mechanical performance of polymer compounds, polymer coatings, metal finishing, CMP polishing and a range of other applications.

In late November, Silicon Sense announced that its has become the first U.S.-based importer of detonation nanodiamond materials. The company was granted registration by the U.S. EPA to import the nanodiamonds for industrial purposes. The registrations, under the Low Volume Exemption (LVE) rule, cover four main Carbodeon product ranges including three mono-functionalized nanodiamond grades and one multi-functional grade.

Said James Meriano, v.p. of Silicon Sense, “Following precise environmental risk analysis using data from Carbodeon as well as invaluable inputs from a number of U.S. customers, the EPA has granted LVE registration for all Carbodeon proprietaty nanodiamond materials currently supplied in the U.S.”

According to Carbodeon’s CEO Vesa Myllmaki, the company views customer safety and environmental issues among its top priorities. “The EPA approval will further strengthen our already strong position in the U.S. market place and beyond. The four approved types of nanodiamond products are used in enhancing thermal, mechanical and other properties in polymers, coatings and metal finishing across multiple industries including electronics, automotive, aerospace and defense, industrial and consumer.”

EPA’s new chemical review program is designed to minimize potential risks to human health and the environment from new substances sold on the market. Anyone who plans to manufacture or import a new substance for commercial purposes is required, under section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), to provide EPA with advance notice before beginning the activity. However, certain categories of new low-volume substances are exempt from full pre-manufacture notice (PMN) review under section 5 of the TSCA, i.e., substances manufactured at 10,000 kg/yr or less.

Available in powder or liquid dispersions, nanodiamonds are said to fully disperse into their primary particles without agglomeration. As such, a compounder and end-user can benefit from the entire available nanodiamond surface area, resulting in better performance with less material and cost. Nanodiamond-impregnated polymers can deliver heat-conducting benefits for products such as LED lighting and mobile devices. The hard-wearing properties also make them ideally suited for use in the automotive and aerospace sectors.