Directa Plus is an innovative technological company operating in the field of nanomaterial, it was founded in 2005 and it has its headquarters inside the “ComoNExT Science and Technology Park” in Lomazzo, near Lake Como (Northern Italy). A significant part of Directa Plus’s business model is constant investment in R&D to develop innovative manufacturing processes for the production of a new generation of nanomaterial, namely: Graphene.
Thanks to its very nature, Graphene has a variety of technological applications within a wide range of market sectors, from textiles to energy. One of the main objectives of Directa Plus’s business strategy is to enter the US Smart Textile Market and to strengthen its market position in Asia in a number of market sectors, namely: air treatment, soil treatment, water treatment and elastomers.
Currently, the Far East alongside Europe is a key market for Directa Plus. Last year the company set up a joint venture in Asia with bike wheel maker Vittoria Group, the controlling company of Vittoria SpA based in Bergamo (Northern Italy). Directa Plus in partnership with Vittoria Group has developed a practical and scalable method for adding a graphene – based material to rubber for bicycle tyres and also to carbond-fibre products like wheels.
The charismatic leader of the company is Giulio Cesareo, President and CEO of the company and one of the founders of Directa Plus. Speaking about Directa Plus’s short to medium-term growth objectives, Cesareo told doitbetter.info:
“Asia is a key market for a number of applications of our grapheme-based materials in various market segments such as elastomers and water, air and soil treatment. The US is another key market for smart – textiles and we have started important partnerships with several industrial partners. The company expects total revenues to grow to €1.5-2m in 2015 and to increase exports of 40% of total revenues. We’re also evaluating possible growth strategies and one of these is going public on the London Stock Exchange”.
The heart of the company is its “Graphene Factory”, a new production plant opened in June 2014. It is the largest production plant of pristine graphene nanoplatelets in Europe. This plant is based on a patented technology and designed according to a modular, replicable and exportable logic. The first module, according to their company statement, has a 30-tonne per year production capacity.
Born in Milan in 1955, Mr. Cesareo is a mechanical engineer, he graduated at the Politecnico di Milano University, he has an MBA from the Bocconi University (Milan) and followed Strategic and Financial Programs at Stanford University (USA). He started his career in 1982 in Italy working for Falck and Techint. From 1986 to 2004 he worked in the carbon and graphite fields for Union Carbide, UCAR and Graftech, reaching top management positions in Italy, France and the US.
Mr. Cesareo has always believed that grapheme-based materials should also be employed in environmental remediation thanks to their ability of absorbing organic pollutants such as hydrocarbons from water, soils and air and for this purpose Directa Plus has developed Graphene Plus a range of graphene-based materials.
In 2014, Directa Plus started a partnership with SetCar, a Romanian company with fourteen years in decontamination and disposal of hazardous waste – an ideal partner for testing environmental applications of Graphene Plus materials, especially in environmental remediation. Mr. Cesareo explained:
“The first treatment project started on 14 October 2014 inside a Romanian former refinery site containing a basin with about 16, 500 m3 of water contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons. The initial hydrocarbons concentration in water was about 56 ppm, or 3 drops of oil per litre of water, which means more than 1 tonne of pollutants that have to be removed. The hydrocarbons maximum concentration allowed for the discharge of treated water into superficial aquatic ecosystems is 0,5 ppm”.
Directa Plus holds 26 granted patents and 19 patents pending.
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