Reports suggest that Chinese startup Caiqi Xin Cailiao (Caiqi New Materials) is preparing to mass-produce graphene materials for supercapacitors, in the near future.
According to these reports, Caiqi has already completed mass production trials and a fundraising round of about 10 million yuan ($1.4 million).
According to Caiqi founder Li Jianhui, most of what is currently mass-produced and sold as graphene is actually graphene oxide, a derivative that lacks the thin and hard characteristics of graphene. The company says it has successfully developed high voltage-resistant and high energy density graphene for supercapacitors and is building a 150-tonne production line.
At present, China imports 90% of its activated carbon, the most-used electrode material, mostly from major Japanese chemical maker Kuraray. Caiqi will aim to take on Kuraray with its supercapacitor graphene materials.
Although supercapacitors can be charged and discharged in a short time and used in many conditions, they so far have not been used on a large scale due to cost constraints, Li said. But Caiqi, which has a cost advantage, can "open up" new application scenarios, and graphene will no longer be confined to laboratories, Li said.