Versarien, the advanced materials engineering group, has provided an update on its activities in relation to graphene-enhanced power storage devices like batteries and supercapacitors. The primary goal of incorporating graphene into these devices, Versarien says, is to significantly increase power storage capacity and reduce charging times.
Versarien has been working with WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) and their partner companies and scientists at the universities of Warwick and Cambridge to collaborate on the production of power storage devices such as batteries and supercapacitors using Versarien's proprietary Nanene graphene nano platelets. Significant advances have been made through incorporating the Company's high quality graphene into these devices and the Company looks forward to commercial products becoming available in due course.
The relationship with WMG has now been supplemented by a number of other agreements that provide Versarien with access to both leading technology providers and manufacturing expertise, both in the UK and overseas, including China.
The first of these agreements is with Zap&Go: Versarien has announced that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Zap&Go, a high technology business focused on developing a new class of energy storage device with considerable functional improvements over current commercially available supercapacitors. Zap&Go's technology and growing patent portfolio is in part derived from Oxford University research, and in part developed independently by Zap&Go's own scientists. Zap&Go work with a number of Chinese partners to manufacture their technology.
Versarien and Zap&Go have agreed to collaborate on research and development projects involving the incorporation of Versarien's proprietary Nanene few layer graphene nano-platelets and other Versarien supplied two-dimensional materials into Zap&Go's supercapacitor type devices with a view to enhancing their performance, specifically through the increased electrical conductivity of the supercapacitor cells.
Another agreement has been reached by Versarien, through its subsidiary Cambridge Graphene, for the Company to be part of the Flexibat consortium that has recently been awarded £1.2 million of grant funding from Innovate UK as part of a £1.5 million project to develop and bring to market graphene-enhanced, thin, flexible printed batteries for electronic wearable and IoT (Internet of Things) devices. From the £1.2m of grant funding, Cambridge Graphene will directly receive approximately £145,000 and indirectly benefit from the funding provided to the other consortium members.
The Flexibat project aims to provide much thinner and more flexible batteries, with higher energy densities, than those currently available. These are expected to be straightforward to manufacture using roll-to-roll printing processes. The initial target market will be for healthcare and wellbeing wearables.
In addition to these relationships, the Company is pleased to report that it has received its first small initial order for Nanene graphene nano platelets from a Chinese automotive battery manufacturer for their technical evaluation.
Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, commented: "Improved battery technology is a key area where the addition of high quality graphene can provide significant benefits. Alongside our work and collaborations in the areas of graphene-enhanced composites and plastics, battery technology is a key focus for Versarien.
"We are pleased to have entered into these new collaborations and to have received our first Nanane order from a Chinese battery manufacturer. In particular, Zap&Go are at the forefront of developing ultra fast charge carbon-ion cells that can replace slow charging lithium ion batteries in a wide variety of applications from cordless and mobile devices, to infrastructure and transport. We anticipate that the addition of our graphene to their already very innovative products will bring significant enhancements. The market potential for their technology is enormous.
"Our strategy is to work with partners who can provide both technology and manufacturing expertise with a view to ensuring that Versarien is placed at the heart of the rapidly developing graphene-enhanced battery ecosystem."