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Large-scale gold nanoparticle production with Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis and Lyophilisation

The synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles (GNPs) via Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis (USP) and subsequent Lyophilisation for producing dried GNPs on a larger industrial scale is not yet readily available on the market. A new and state-of-the-art technology process represents an innovative approach and is the main Objective of the Project. For this purpose, the pilot scale-up USP for synthesising of GNPs in suspension and pilot scale-up lyophilisation for drying GNPs suspension will be installed in Zlatarna Celje (ZC). The USP will consist of four ultrasonic spray atomisers, which will be connected directly with the furnaces where the GNP formation reactions take place. In the furnaces, the evaporation stage will be separated from the rest of the process stages, and the reduction gas will be introduced directly into the reaction stage. The formed GNPs will then be transferred by the carrier gas in a newly developed closed collection system with a water reservoir and electrostatic filter. For stability of GNPs an adequate stabiliser will be used, resulting in a stable GNPs` suspension. In the final process, the GNPs` suspension will undergo drying by lyophilisation. Experimental lyophilisation studies on the GNPs` suspension will present the basis for development and validation of computational models of lyophilisation of GNPs` suspensions. The developed GNPs` lyophilisation models will then serve as the basis for definition of the design space of the pilot scale-up lyophiliser. The target production capacity of dried GNPs is 4 g/h, taking into account the required properties of GNPs: Size from 10 nm to 50 nm, spherical and ellipsis shapes, ultra pure (99.99 % of Au), and not agglomerated state. Characterisation of GNPs in suspension or in dried form will be performed by different methods to achieve the required final GNPs` properties and, thus, the user's requirements. Implementation of GNPs is seen in nanophotonic contact lenses and cosmetic products (TFT Nano Center) for the 1st phase of the Commercialisation Plan to reach TRL level 9.