Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb-like pattern. Graphene is considered to be the world's thinnest, strongest and most conductive material - of both electricity and heat. All of these properties are exciting researchers and businesses around the world - as graphene has the potential to revolutionize entire industries - in the fields of electricity, conductivity, energy generation, batteries, sensors and more.
Graphene is the world's strongest material, and can be used to enhance the strength of other materials. Dozens of researchers have demonstrated that adding even a trace amount of graphene to plastics, metals or other materials can make these materials much stronger - or lighter (as you can use a smaller amount of material to achieve the same strength).
Such graphene-enhanced composite materials can find uses in aerospace, building materials, mobile devices, and many other applications.
Graphene is the most heat conductive found to date. As graphene is also strong and light, it means that it is a great material for making heat-spreading solutions, such as heat sinks or heat dissipation films. This could be useful in both microelectronics (for example to make LED lighting more efficient and longer lasting) and also in larger applications - for example thermal foils for mobile devices. Huawei's latest smartphones, for example, have adopted graphene-based thermal films.
Since graphene is the world's thinnest material, it also extremely high surface-area to volume ratio. This makes graphene a very promising material for use in batteries and supercapacitors. Graphene may enable batteries and supercapacitors (and even fuel-cells) that can store more energy - and charge faster, too.
Coatings ,sensors, electronics and more
Graphene has a lot of promise for additional applications: anti-corrosion coatings and paints, efficient and precise sensors, faster and efficient electronics, flexible displays, efficient solar panels, faster DNA sequencing, drug delivery, and more.
Graphene is such a great and basic building block that it seems that any industry can benefit from this new material. Time will tell where graphene will indeed make an impact - or whether other new materials will be more suitable.
The latest Graphene Application news:
NanoXplore has announced that it has been awarded three programs from two existing customers, one large commercial vehicle OEM and one industrial equipment manufacturer, to supply exterior parts of vehicles. These components are used in both internal combustion engines and electric vehicles.
Production for the first program will begin in 2024 while the start of production for the other two programs is planned for 2026. These programs generally last for a period of 10 years. The Corporation estimates that these programs will generate CAD$24 million (over USD$17,700,000) in annual sales at mature volumes along with a one-time tooling revenue of CAD$10 million (over USD$7,400,000). The Corporation has reportedly already secured the related manufacturing equipment to fulfill these orders and the expansion of the North Carolina facility is ongoing. These investments are part of NanoXplore’s 5-year strategic plan.
The 2023 China International Graphene Innovation Conference (GRAPCHINA 2023), will be held in Shanghai, China from November 10 to 12, 2023. The conference will be jointly hosted by the National Graphene Innovation Center, Shanghai University and the Graphene Alliance (CGIA). Minyang Lu, the Deputy Secretary-General of the CGIA, was kind enough to answer a few questions we had regarding the upcoming conference.
Hello Minyang, thank you for your time. Can you tell us more about the GRAPCHINA event?
The International Graphene Innovation Conference has been successfully held for nine years. The number of participants has set a new record year each year, and its influence has continued to improve. The nine sessions attracted more than 4,000 enterprises, 23,000 participants and 1,200 experts in new materials field, which came from over 30 countries and regions around the world. At present, it has developed into a gathering place, a vanue and an international event for the world's cutting-edge graphene technology achievements and innovative products. The graphene application expo held simultaneously with the conference, will continuously inject new vitality into the development of the global graphene industry by gathering the global graphene industrialization achievements.
The 2023 International Graphene Innovation Conference (GRAPCHINA 2023) will be organized by the China Innovation Alliance of the Graphene Industry (CGIA), National Graphene Innovation Center (NGIC) and Shanghai University in Shanghai on November 10-12 of the year 2023. This year, GRAPCHINA 2023 will focus on the transformation of scientific and technological achievements, international cooperation, and industrial and supply chain, we will work with end users to create a number of commercialization forums.
INBRAIN Neuroelectronics, a health-tech company dedicated to developing intelligent graphene-neural platform, has announced that its Intelligent Network Modulation System has been granted Breakthrough Device Designation (BDD) from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as an adjunctive therapy for treating Parkinson’s disease.
The INBRAIN system uses graphene, whose electrical and mechanical properties make it ideal for neurotechnology innovation. INBRAIN’s neural platform technology enables ultra-high signal resolution and uses machine learning software that decodes therapy-specific biomarkers to deliver highly focused, adaptive neuroelectronic therapy that re-balances pathological neural networks.
A team of researchers from The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (ICFO) and Barcelona-based startup Qurv Technologies have designed flexible, nearly transparent graphene-enhanced image sensors that could be hidden in plain sight.
The sensors, based on graphene and quantum dots, could be integrated directly onto eyeglasses or curved windshields, placed right in front of a user’s eyes. This could make eye-tracking hardware less bulky, improve the accuracy of gaze detection, and reduce computational complexity, says Frank Koppens, who co-led the research and co-founded Qurv in 2020.
Rice University researchers have found a way to harvest hydrogen and graphene from plastic waste using a low-emissions method that could more than pay for itself.
“In this work, we converted waste plastics ⎯ including mixed waste plastics that don’t have to be sorted by type or washed ⎯ into high-yield hydrogen gas and high-value graphene,” said Kevin Wyss, a Rice doctoral alumnus and lead author of the recent study. “If the produced graphene is sold at only 5% of current market value ⎯ a 95% off sale! ⎯ clean hydrogen could be produced for free.”
Graphite One, a mining company planning a complete domestic U.S. supply chain for advanced graphite materials, has announced that it has received a US$4.7 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Logistics Agency ("DLA") to develop a graphite and graphene-based foam fire suppressant as an alternative to incumbent PFAS fire-suppressant materials, as required by U.S. law.
"Graphite One is pleased to begin work on this Defense Logistics Agency project, which responds to the legally-mandated requirement to develop a new alternative to long-standing foam fire suppressants which are known to have toxic impacts on human health and the environment," said Anthony Huston, President and CEO of Graphite One. "This DLA contract underscores the importance of graphite for innovative technology applications beyond the renewable energy markets – an important part of Graphite One's advanced graphite materials strategy."
Researchers at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) have developed a highly magnetic quantum computing material — 100 times more magnetic than pure iron — that functions at room temperature. The team introduced an aminoferrocene-based graphene system with room temperature superparamagnetic behavior in the long-range magnetic order.
Quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize the world, allowing massive health and science computation problems to be solved exponentially faster than by classic computing. However, before this could happen, it is vital to overcome the current drawback of only operating in subzero temperatures. “In order to make quantum computers work, we cannot use them at room temperature,” said Ahmed El-Gendy, Ph.D., an associate professor of physics at The University of Texas at El Paso. “That means we will need to cool the computers and cool all the materials, which is very expensive.”
Graphene Manufacturing Group (GMG) has announced it has developed graphene aluminum ion (G+AI) battery prototype pouch cells with a storage capacity of more than 500 milliampere hours (mAh) and a nominal voltage of about 2 volts.
GMG sees this as a significant development because it demonstrates how it has matured its battery electro-chemistry and assembly techniques to produce pouch cells with more than 10 layers of graphene-coated cathode and aluminum foil anode. The next step is for the company to optimize the assembly techniques of the pouch cell prototypes to achieve repeatable storage capacity of more than 500 mAh cells for the purpose of conducting a variety of standard testing conditions for comparison purposes.
BASF, a global battery materials producer, and Nanotech Energy, a developer of graphene-based energy storage products, have agreed to partner to significantly reduce the CO2 footprint of Nanotech’s lithium-ion batteries for the North American market. The agreement aims to close the loop for lithium-ion batteries in North America, with BASF producing cathode active materials from recycled metals in Battle Creek, Michigan, for the usage in lithium-ion battery cells produced by Nanotech Energy. Feeding recycled metals into the production of new lithium-ion batteries can reportedly reduce the CO2 impact of batteries by about 25% compared to the use of primary metals from mines.
Both companies will additionally partner with American Battery Technology Company (ABTC), a lithium-ion battery recycling company in Reno, Nevada, and TODA Advanced Materials Inc. (TODA) with decades of experience in manufacturing specialized pCAM (precursor for Cathode Active Material) and metal hydroxide material located in Ontario, Canada, to establish such a localized battery value chain for the North American consumer electronics and automotive industries. Along that chain, battery scrap and off-spec material from Nanotech’s pilot operation in Chico, California, as well as from its planned commercial facility will be recycled by ABTC. The battery-grade metals as recovered by ABTC – such as nickel, cobalt, manganese, and lithium – will be subsequently used by TODA and BASF to produce new precursors and cathode active materials, respectively. Nanotech will then use these materials again in its battery cell production – overall, a truly circular economy in North America.
Directa Plus has announced that Setcar SA, its environmental services subsidiary, has signed a three-year contract with Liberty Galati, the largest integrated steel producer in Romania, to process oily mills sludge.
The contract will last for three years and has a total value of €5.5 million, with the potential for further expansion up to a total of €8.0 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Setcar will provide solutions for the treatment of oily mills scale produced in the manufacturing of steel.
Directa said the contract would enable Setcar to expand further its waste treatment and disposal services for industrial pollutants and broaden the range of applications for the group’s Grafysorber technology. By using Grafysorber, Setcar would allow Liberty Galati to recycle a considerable amount of oily sludge waste, transforming it into a raw material suitable for reuse in steel production.