Keronite International Ltd

Haverhill, United Kingdom

Keronite International Ltd

Haverhill, United Kingdom
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Major water using and discharging industries are of significant European economic importance, generating >1500 billion turnover and employing >7.5 million people in 220,000 companies (90% SMEs). With continued European growth in demand for water, finite reservoirs of readily-treatable water, rising energy costs and increased environmental legislation, EU industry is experiencing significant competitive threats with regard to cost-efficient supply and treatment of water. Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) utilise electrochemically-active microbes to convert the inherent energy of organic chemical bonds to electrical energy. MFCs encompass unique features that offer advantages for the treatment of wastewater, including: efficient electricity generation; minimal sludge formation; operation at low temperature; and modular cell design, enabling operation at small scale and customisation to specific end-user requirements. A core group of SMEs have identified a unique opportunity to advance MFC technology for industrial wastewater treatment, thereby generating sustainable and competitive business growth. Key innovations include MFC integration with photocatalytic advanced oxidation and a membraneless MFC air cathode design; and a scalable cost-efficient MFC and architecture design incorporating innovative process monitoring & control strategies. System features and benefits include: - Capital cost equivalence with existing aerobic treatment solutions - Significant operational cost savings, realised through: - Recovery of organic content as electrical energy & achieving system sustainability (self-powering); - Enhanced treatment efficiency enabling water reuse for on-site non-potable applications; - Significant cost reductions for sludge disposal and treated wastewater discharge to sewer - Flexible design and operation customised to specific end-user (sector) requirements and enabling treatment of wastewaters of varying composition and containing hazardous micropollutants The project will result in a pilot-scale MFC system demonstrated for a target industrial wastewater. AquaCell will generate ~40 million business growth for its SMEs within a 3-year period creating 94 jobs; and has the potential to benefit >29,700 major water using SMEs within the wider European manufacturing sector.


There is disclosed a method for producing corrosion and erosion-resistant mixed oxide coatings on a metal substrate, as well as a mixed oxide coating itself. A surface of the substrate metal is oxidised and converted into a first coating compound comprising a primary oxide of that metal by a plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) process. One or more secondary oxide compounds comprising oxides of secondary elements not present in conventional alloys of the substrate metals at significant (>2 wt %) levels are added to the first oxide coating. The source of the secondary element(s) is at least one of: i) a soluble salt of the secondary element(s) in the electrolyte; ii) an enrichment of the surface of the substrate metal with secondary element(s) prior to PEO processing; and iii) a suspension of the secondary element(s) or oxide(s) of the secondary element(s) applied to the oxide of the metal after this has been formed by the PEO process.


Patent
Keronite International Ltd | Date: 2013-05-30

The present invention relates to a photocatalyst and a method of manufacturing a photocatalyst. More specifically, the present invention relates to a high surface area TiO 2 photocatalyst formed by electrolytic discharge oxidation (EDO) of a substrate comprising titanium. A flexible high surface area photocatalyst architecture comprising a compliant, cohesive, well-adhered and highly porous surface layer of the anatase phase of titanium dioxide is provided. The highly porous surface layer of the anatase phase of titanium dioxide is formed in a single step by the electrolytic oxidation of a titanium surface on a permeable, flexible, and electrically conductive substrate sponge structure.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SME-1 | Phase: SMEInst-02-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 71.43K | Year: 2016

Weight-reduction efforts in the automotive industry have increased significantly in recent years, largely due to efforts to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. As a result, OEM manufacturers are moving to aluminium based solutions to reduce vehicle weight, improve fuel economy and overall sustainability of the vehicle. OEMs are increasingly out-sourcing their innovation activities and are actively seeking cost-effective lightweight braking solutions from Tier 1 suppliers. A substantial amount of vehicle weight resides in conventional cast-iron brake discs. Brakes form part of the unsprung mass (UM) of the vehicle, i.e. not supported by the suspension. The impact of UM weight on fuel consumption is compounded by the effects of rotational inertia and therefore has a much greater effect on fuel consumption per kg than non-moving parts. Adopting aluminium brake discs would reduce weight considerably and deliver fuel savings, or greater range in the case of electric vehicles. Furthermore, reducing rotational inertia through lighter discs, leads to better drive-handling, improved acceleration, and shorter braking distances. However, the use of aluminium in a cost-effective brake disc solution has failed due to excessive wear of the material. Attempts to provide a hardwearing aluminium surface by coated with a protective ceramic have been unsuccessful due to cracking caused by differential thermal expansion rates. Keronite International Ltd a pioneer in lightweight aluminium braking components and patented Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) coatings - has developed RELIABLE, a wear-resistant lightweight aluminium brake disc for use in mass-market passenger vehicles. By overcoming the limitations of existing ceramic coatings, RELIABLE will deliver an innovative solution to an urgent market need. In turn, Keronite will generate combined revenue and gross profit of 50.7m and 22.5m respectively by 2023, resulting in a 5-fold return on investment.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Feasibility Study | Award Amount: 94.17K | Year: 2016

The UK engineering coatings industry is worth >£11bn affecting products worth £140bn. The Surface Engineering and Coatings market for the automotive sector being £2bn/year. Internal bore coating of automotive components such as damper tubes are a very important aspect of this market. Keronite have developed a Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) coating technology that has the potential to achieve widespread application for functional components with particular application to internal surfaces. However, to achieve required performance at acceptable costs, we need to develop a fundamentally new approach to the selective coating of metal part using an automated process to achieve critical functional coatings. PROWESS will develop a high value manufacturing approach with improved deposition control to achieve selective PEO surface coverage down to 25sq.mm. This will have particular application for internal functional surface coatings specifically for tubes and hollow sections. By achieving this, we will be able to increase output rates by up to 400% and reduce costs by >60%.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Feasibility Study | Award Amount: 23.95K | Year: 2014

A white coating with low and stable solar absorptance is required for thermal shield applications on the satellite exterior surfaces. White paint has been used with limited performance in extreme space environments such as UV, radiation, adhesion, outgassing, contamination, extreme thermal and operational loads over a 15 yr mission lifetime. Transparent anodising of aluminium alloys is used also with limited performance. Recent trials by Keronite shows, the use of high voltage plasma discharges and unique electrolyte formulations in the Keronite process also allows the formation of optically white coatings on Al-alloys. The proposed study will investigate the feasibility of developing the existing knowledge to create white ceramic coatings with low and stable absorptance value on aluminium alloys and CFRP.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Feasibility Study | Award Amount: 64.76K | Year: 2016

The annual market for automotive pistons for diesel cars is ~32.8m units, worth ~€164(£125)m, mainly based on eutectic Al-Si. Recent advances globally have led to coated piston crowns with very low thermal conductivity and heat capacity that significantly reduce heat loss, leading to increased engine efficiencies of the order 44%. However, eutectic aluminium is problematic to anodise leading to silicon inclusions and high surface roughness - limiting the anodising area to the piston crown except the cavity. HI-POTENTIAL will develop a high value manufacturing approach with improved capabilities for Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation to create aluminium piston crowns with ultra-low thermal conductivity and heat capacity for coating the entire piston crown including the cavity. By achieving this, we will be able to increase maximum thermal efficiency comparable to or better than existing anodised solutions and increasing fuel efficiency / reducing CO2 emissions by >1.8%. This is beyond anything achieved previously for aluminium and comparable to steel pistons. By achieving this we will create global USPs for PEO coated aluminium pistons.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Feasibility Study | Award Amount: 112.04K | Year: 2015

The OPTIMAL project builds on the previous work by Keronite & atg UV and will undertake a technical feasibility study into the development and application of a novel photocatalyst technology for safe, reliable & cost-effective water treatment for the emerging UK shale gas market. We are a business-led consortium, focussing upon the water treatment of flowback liquid to substantially reduce the quantities of clean water needed during the fracking operation. The OPTIMAL system will deliver a chemical free process for removing organic pollutants and offers a route to totally removing the application of harmful biocides. The project concentrates on the following developments: 1. Development & optimisation of photocatalyst using (a) conversion of Ti into TiO2 highly photoactive anatase form via a Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) process & (b) bandgap engineering of TiO2 to tailor activity under UV light (200-500nm) 2.Optimisation of photocatalytic system through optimisation of geometry, orientation & proximity to UV lamp; 3. Demonstration of feasibility of system for breakdown of dissolved organic pollutants using a representative flow back liquid sample.


There is disclosed an insulated metal substrate, consisting of a dielectric oxide coatings of high crystallinity (>vol 90%) on aluminium, magnesium or titanium and high thermal conductivity (over 6 Wm^(1)K^(1)), formed by plasma electrolytic oxidation on a surface comprising aluminium, magnesium or titanium. There is also disclosed a plasma electrolytic oxidation process for generating dielectric oxide coatings of controlled crystallinity on a surface of a metallic workpiece, wherein at least a series of positive pulses of current are applied to the workpiece in an electrolyte so as to generate plasma discharges, wherein discharge currents are restricted to levels no more than 50 mA, discharge durations are restricted to durations of no more than 100 s and are shorter than the durations of each the positive pulses, and/or by restricting the power of individual plasma discharges to under 15W. There is also disclosed an insulated metal substrate capable of withstanding exposure to high temperatures (over 300 C.) and thermal shock or repeated thermal cycling of over 300 C., as a result of excellent adhesion of the insulating dielectric to the metal substrate, and the mechanically compliant nature of the coating (E20-30 GPa). Furthermore, there is disclosed a method of making these insulated metal substrates so thin as to be mechanically flexible or pliable without detriment to their electrical insulation.


Patent
Keronite International Ltd | Date: 2010-03-30

A process for the corrosion protection of metals such as magnesium, aluminium or titanium, where at least two steps are used, including both plasma electrolytic oxidation and chemical passivation. The combination of these two processing steps enhances the corrosion resistance performance of the surface beyond the capability of either of the steps in isolation, providing a more robust protection system. This process may be used as a corrosion protective coating in its own right, or as a protection-enhancing pre-treatment for top-coats such as powder coat or e-coat. When used without an additional top-coat, the treated parts can still retain electrical continuity with and adjoining metal parts. Advantages include reduced cost and higher productivity than traditional plasma-electrolytic oxidation systems, improved corrosion protection, greater coating robustness and electrical continuity.

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