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Author of investingraphene.com, a blog dedicated to exploring the emerging investment opportunities within the graphene market place. Graphite miners, research and development companies, and manufacturers are all under the spotlight, as are the latest findings from the research labs from around... More
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  • Grafoid And Focus Metals SEEK To Make Graphene More Economical.

    It may sound like the Canadian graphene research and production company has turned to religion but the latest pronouncement from Dr Gordon Chiu, Vice president and co-founder of Grafoid, is something much more applicable to the modern age of nanoscience than to any mystical teaching.

    Speaking at the Graphene 2012 Conference in Brussels, the distinguished Chief Scientist of Focus Metals announced the protocol by which Focus Metals and Grafoid are working in order to produce the world's highest grade and most economical graphene. The SEEK principles formulated by Dr Chiu describe a methodology based on a number of discrete factors aimed at de-risking the development process. In essence, the SEEK acronym codifies Grafoid's commitment to ecology, economy, safety and reproducibility.

    SAFETY: It is paramount that graphene production is scaled with safety engineering measures in mind. As many of you know, the process for Hummer's method can lead to explosions.

    EFFECTIVE: means the highest quality, reproducible batches of graphene.

    ENVIRONMENTALLY SUNSTAINABLE REPRODUCABILITY: avoid strong oxidation,
    strong acids etc.

    KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPI): the lowest costs derived from the highest
    technology grade graphite destined for practical applications and patents.

    Working in partnership with Focus Metals who supply high 16% grade graphite for exfoliation, Grafoid is pursuing a scalable graphene process which produces a unique kind of pristine bi-layer and tri-layer graphene. The collaboration between the two companies enables costs to be mitigated whilst ensuring that the highest quality product is delivered to clients.

    Graphite, grading at 16% is a super concentrate deposit (>15%). Additionally, the SEM
    image indicates that the deposit is also highly ordered graphite. These two vital
    components allowed our investment to create a novel chemical exfoliation and
    transformation process removing the need for strong acids and strong oxidants. The
    result is a scalable approach for a high quality graphene that maintains its highly
    conductive properties.

    Grafoid's technique exemplifies the SEEK standards and stands in contrast to the production methods of chemical vapour deposition and those developed by Hummer. Both alternatives have intrinsic problems that will not be resolved soon. Hummer's method delivers scalability at the expense of conductivity performance and safety, whilst CVD produces a high quality "bottom-up" product but at a relative cost burden.

    Dr Chiu's final aim in terms of economics is to be able to produce graphene at a cost of 50 cents a pound, vastly down on its current price of $20,000 per pound. Focus Metals' superior source of graphite could well help the Grafoid team in pursuit of their goal.

    To read the full transcript of Dr. Chiu's presentation from Graphene 2012 visit http://www.grafoid.com/

    Grafoid is currently a sponsor of investingraphene.com

    Apr 13 9:18 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Graphene Company Gets Space Contract

    XG Sciences, a privately owned corporation based in Michigan, has announced it has been selected by the Air Force Research Laboratory to develop ultra high-energy graphene ultracapacitors for use in space energy storage systems. XGSs' graphene-based energy storage materials have demonstrated significant increases in storage capacity over traditional activated carbon and are manufactured in a commercially-proven, environmentally friendly, low-cost process.

    "Our Air Force contract will target development of ultracapacitors capable of delivering the high specific energy necessary for advanced space applications," said Rob Privette, VP Energy Markets. "Our graphene-based energy storage materials deliver significant improvements over traditional carbon charge storage materials due to their highly accessible surface area, low resistance current carrying capability, and tailorable particle size. We believe that this research will also help advance the state-of-the-art in ultracapacitors for automotive and industrial applications."

    The project is supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory under Contract No. FA9453-12-M-0032.
    XG Sciences' graphene nanoplatelets can be formulated into electrodes, inks, and pastes for fabrication of electrodes with high charge storage and superior current carrying characteristics for ultracapacitors, batteries, and fuel cells. XG Sciences Inc. is a leading supplier of xGnP ® graphene nanoplatelets, as well as energy storage electrode materials, electrically and thermally conductive inks, powders and dispersions, and high strength additives for lightweight composites. With international licensees including POSCO and Cabot Corporation, and a worldwide distributor organization, XG Sciences offers bulk materials or custom graphene-based products to nearly 500 customers around the world.

    POSCO, (KRX: 005490, NYSE: PKX, TYO: 5412, LSE: PIDD), the South Korean steel producer and one of the largest in the world, owns a 20% share in XG Sciences. In addition to steel, POSCO operates a worldwide network of subsidiaries in energy, construction, logistics, mining and materials markets. POSCO was recently named the most admired company in its category in the annual FORTUNE survey.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    Tags: PKX, graphene
    Apr 03 11:50 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Graphene Conference 2012 Just Days Away.

    With the Grafoid sponsored Graphene 2012 conference just two weeks away I thought it would be a good idea to mention some of the things that can be expected from the event. In particular I think special mention of the applications workshop is deserved as for the average investor this is the real subject of concern. Sure the conference will have more than enough to satisfy the tastes of the most graphene immersed and up-to-date of scientists, however, for those looking to invest in the development of graphene as a material of world changing potential then the sit up and listen part of the show will be Parallel Workshop 4: Applications.

    Headlining this workshop will be four invited speakers from Airbus, Nokia, Texas Instruments and IBM, with papers covering graphene technology in a number of guises. The main speakers will be promoting an emphasis on mobile phones, nanoelectronics and transistors, but the workshop will then open up for a broader array of oral presentations both informative and persuasive. Expect discussion of the whole range of possible applications, from quantum dots to graphene films; and with representatives from some of Europe's leading universities also lending their thoughts and findings, the chance to discover the very cutting edge of research should not be missed.

    With investment and market forces at the forefront of most people's minds the discussion from Grafoid's Gary Economo and Dr. Gordon Chiu will provide some insight into the problem of economic viability. Graphene production and financial considerations have been a limiting factor in graphene's story to date, however, this situation is soon to change, with suggestions in Dr. Chiu's paper of how these concerns could soon be eliminated.

    "Hummer's method resolves the scalability issue for graphene oxide but sacrifices quality. Growing graphene via chemical vapor deposition produces high quality graphene, but fails on economics. The challenge for scientists today is to produce pristine graphene for fifty cents per pound or less - down from its current cost of $20,000 per pound... Eliminating costs is the key to commercial success. Universal market acceptance by the investment community will come once mass producers of automobile, electronics and infrastructural components are assured of a sustainable, low-cost, viable graphene source."

    With the economics of large scale production satisfactorily contained, discussion of future applications begin to sound more realistic. Graphene films and wafers will be the subject of a number of presentations, including those by Graphenea, Stefan Hertel from the University of Erlangen, and Aixtron. Graphenea's presentation suggests a number of potential uses of graphene films for which proof of concept has already been proven.

    Most applications to date have been focused in the Energy Storage applications mainly in batteries and ultracapacitors. Using Graphene films to enhanced electrodes has yield in an exceptional performance improvement for these devices. Graphene enhanced Solar cells are also an intensive research topic. The other group of leading applications is related to Electronics and Semiconductors mainly in the High Frequency Electronics applications. In
    some cases, proof of concepts and prototypes has been developed. Transparent conductors, Biosensors and Advanced Composites complete the list of leading innovations using Graphene films.

    The conference boasts 122 confirmed presentations, 546 participants and 214 posters over four days so there will be plenty to satisfy the whole range of attendees. The topics will traverse all the stages of development from synthesis, spectroscopies, chemistry, quantum transport, magnetism and spintronics, to nanoelectromechanical systems, applications and related 2-dimensional materials.

    Registration for the conference remains open with prices set at 490 Euros for students and 660 Euros for seniors. The price includes access to the conference, the whole exhibition area, workshops, one-to-one meetings, and conference materials, as well as to 2 cocktail lunches, conference dinner and coffee breaks.

    Apr 02 11:22 AM | Link | Comment!
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