Impact Nano gets license for flammable, combustible materials in Orange

  • 153 Quabbin Boulevard LLC, which is owned by Impact Nano LLC, closed on the property previously owned by PHA Industries at 153 Quabbin Blvd. on April 2. The Orange Selectboard has issued 153 Quabbin Boulevard LLC a license for flammable and combustible liquids and flammable gases and solids. Impact Nano will produce advanced materials for semiconductors and specialty chemicals. STAFF PHOTO/DOMENIC POLI

  • Impact Nano Chief Operating Officer Mark Wilkinson, left, and Health and Safety Director David Schlier, speak to the Orange Selectboard during a meeting last week regarding obtaining a license for flammable and combustible liquids as well as flammable gases and solids. STAFF PHOTO/DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer
Published: 8/2/2021 9:19:41 PM

ORANGE — The company that closed on the former PHA Industries property on Quabbin Boulevard back in April has been granted by the Selectboard a license for flammable and combustible liquids as well as flammable gases and solids.

Impact Nano LLC, which formed a year ago, intends to produce a combination of specialty chemicals and advanced materials for semiconductors.

“Specialty chemicals is pretty much what was being done by PHA Industries at that site. The advanced materials for semiconductors is materials that go into semiconductors to allow them to use less power, allow more transistors per unit area,” Chief Operating Officer Mark Wilkinson explained to the Selectboard last week. “So it’s really related to the continued advancement of semiconductors, which happens at a very, very rapid pace and is heavily dependent on materials at this point, because transistors are getting so close together that … they’re several atoms apart now. It’s incredible when you think about the physics and chemistry that’s going on.

“And these advanced materials become very, very important and aren’t chosen until very late in the process because they’re really at the cutting edge of what can be done,” he added.

Wilkinson, who was joined by Health and Safety Director David Schlier, explained 153 Quabbin Boulevard LLC, which is owned by Impact Nano, holds the real estate. Wilkinson said he and his business partner have backgrounds in pharmaceuticals and in specialty chemicals.

“The industry is set up in tiers. There’s Tier 1 suppliers — those are folks that sell directly to an Intel or a Samsung,” he said. “There’s Tier 2 suppliers. They sell to the Tier 1s. We’re setting up a Tier 2 supplier. What that means is we’re going to focus on synthesizing materials, chemicals, purifying them, packaging them — all has to be done with super-high quality. We won’t have a huge sales force. We won’t have a lot of trucks or anything like that. We’ll almost have no trucks. The Tier 1s take care of that. So they’re the ones answering the day-to-day questions to the Intels and Samsungs and folks.”

Wilkinson said a great year will probably yield 100 tons of material.

“That’s maybe four or five truckloads worth of material,” he said.

Selectboard Clerk Pat Lussier asked Wilkinson where the imported chemicals will come from and he explained they originate in a “pretty large variety of places” around the world. Wilkinson said they are transported in drums and liquefied gases will come in thick-walled, high-integrity cylinders.

Wilkinson predicts the company will have 30 to 50 employees — made up of lab technicians, engineers, operators, maintenance technicians and quality control specialists — by its third year.

“It’s a pretty small industry in terms of the suppliers and in terms of the materials that end up going into these chips,” he said. “And it doesn’t take long before every chip in the world will have some material that has come from Orange, which is kind of amazing. Two, three, four years, something like that.”

“That really is cool,” Selectboard Chair Jane Peirce said.

Wilkinson invited members of the Selectboard and the public to get in touch with him to tour the facility, which is now open.

Wilkinson later explained the license amendment “allows us to have larger quantities on site, which is necessary to accommodate this expected growth. In addition, we are building out portions of the site/facility, so we’ll need appropriate building permits from time-to-time.”

Selectboard members thanked Wilkinson and Schlier for bringing the business to Orange.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or
413-772-0261, ext. 262.

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