Quartzene – Market uptake of the world’s first low cost aerogel-type nano-material

The SME-Quartzene project is funded by the European Commission. It started in 2016 and will run 24 months with a budget of 1.4 M€ co-funded by the European Commission. Svenska Aerogel (SvAAB) will be the participant organization for the project.

Aerogels are nano-materials that are considered the best insulation materials in the world; 10 cm² of aerogel offer twice the insulation effect, compared to 10 cm2 of a common insulation material such as mineral wool! The problem is that it has not been possible to produce aerogels at a cost low enough for them to be anything other than a niche product, until now. Svenska Aerogel has developed an aerogel-type nano-material “Quartzene®” , modelled on the classical aerogel, which can be produced at a 70-90% reduction in cost. This will allow for a market uptake of this aerogel-type material Quartzene® across a number of industry segments, in the EU and globally.

Quartzene® can be used as insulation in many applications, from buildings and household appliances to food packaging. This is important since effective insulation is vital in order to solve the problem with climate change. Especially considering that buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU. Using Quartzene as thermal insulation in existing buildings in the EU could potentially lower CO2-emissions from heating and cooling by 42% (353 million tons per year).

SvAAB set out in the year 2000 to develop a filter for greenhouse gases, and in the process hit upon a vastly more efficient production method that lowers the cost of aerogels with 70-90%. Until now, aerogels (which are a specific sub-set of nano-materials) have been very costly to make and therefore not possible to use in low cost applications.

Objective 1 – Validating the use of Quartzene® in insulation. The project’s main objective is to allow four leading materials and end-user products producing companies to start the final (large scale) validation of the nano-material in their products, with a purpose to reach lower thermal conductivities.

Objective 2 – Validating the patented manufacturing process. The patented manufacturing process will be scaled up to verify the final design and set-up of the innovative manufacturing process.

Objective 3 – Validating the business plan. The business plan for Quartzene® that SvAAB has developed since 2014 will be validated. It will contain the activities and expected costs needed to ensure that Quartzene reaches the market.