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
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