Development of high concentration metallic suspensions for printed electronics applications
Based in Co Louth, Oriel is the only company across the globe to harvest magnesium, minerals and trace elements directly from deep sea water. They are certified organic and sustainable - almost zero waste - with global patents for their harvesting process, and they are the only company to hold protected status (PDO) from the EU Commission for these products.
Oriel was established in 2010 to identify and develop an eco-friendly and energy efficient means of extracting and harvesting minerals present in sea water. Through patented technology, the company extracts huge volumes of deep sea water each day. This passes through a series of micro filtration systems before it undergoes evaporation, separation, and concentration technology. A particular mineral being extracted that is of interest for commercial application in printed electronics is magnesium composite, for conductive track production.
There is a clear knowledge gap in analysing this extract, improving the production process and forming the magnesium composite for conductive track printing. The company wish to bridge this knowledge gap and develop a viable product.
The aim of this project is to develop simple, robust and fast analytical methods for full characterisation of magnesium extract batches that will deliver consistency and stability for application in printed electronics. These analytical methods will also be optimised for in-process monitoring, which will support quality control at different stages of the process as well as systematic studies on the effect that changes in the raw material properties can exert in the process and final product quality (e.g. sea water temperature, carbon dioxide and oxygen content, metal ion concentration etc).
The overall aim is to improve process control, reduce running costs and deliver a sustainable and predictable product. The high concentration magnesium extract will be chemically combined with other elements such as graphene and reduced graphene oxide in order to produce a printable conductive ink.
The expected impact of this project is the commercialisation of a product line of magnesium extract for use in new applications. This will contribute to company expansion plans in the medium term.
Four Year Project started September 2019
Key Enabling Technologies used
Multi-material printing; Materials Characterisation; Process control; PE testing; Data Analytics