Technological developments help find a solution to the expanding demand for quality graphene
Technological Developments Help Find a Solution to the Expanding Demand for Quality Graphene
As the world constantly races toward innovating today’s technologies, there will be a rise in global demand for graphene — a one-atom-thick material that can do wonders for different industries.
Graphene is a sheet-like material made up of carbon atoms that are structured in a hexagonal lattice, likening to that of a honeycomb. The product is formed in layers as it makes up the mineral graphite. An intensively careful and highly advanced extraction process is required to siphon the material from the mineral.
Although a million times thinner than a single strand of the human hair, the material has outstanding qualities that make it surpass the strength of steel by a hundred more times, become bendable as rubber, and serve as a perfect conductor for heat and electricity. Because of its many properties, graphene can be used in a wide range of applications, may it be in medicine, transport, or energy, among many other industries.
Research and Markets forecasts the global graphene market size to expand at a compound growth rate of 36.7 percent annually through 2025 from 2016 when its sales were valued at $23.7 million. The research, however, pointed to the electronics industry as the main driver for graphene demand.
One of the popular electronic trends today is the massive use of lithium-ion batteries to power electric cars, which are predicted to increase further in the future. The production of lithium-ion batteries is made possible through the mining of several minerals such as manganese, nickel, graphite, lithium and cobalt. Among these, the much-used cobalt for the batteries is found to be the “most vulnerable to potential supply chain issues.”
Citing the findings of certain researchers, TechXplore said the geopolitical issues haunting the Democratic Republic of Congo, where most of the world’s cobalt needs are mined, may disrupt the supply chain.
“There are real resource issues on the horizon that the industry can start planning for and avoid,” said Gerbrand Ceder, one of the researchers from the University of California’s Department of Materials Science & Engineering.
With the looming uncertainties in the supply of some resources, the industry is preparing with other materials like graphene to fill the gap. These materials may be better than cobalt in terms of quality when making lithium-ion batteries.
Although the demand for graphene may signal a likely bigger need for more of it in the future, there are major companies, including Elcora Advanced Materials Corp. (TXSV:ERA, OTCMKTS:ECORF), that can fill the expected void.
Elcora is a vertically integrated company that is now leading the way in developing lithium-ion batteries with graphene. It aims to develop a proprietary technology that can maximize the use of graphene’s thermal and electrical conductivity that will make electric car batteries charge faster.
Elcora has its own graphite mining and graphite and graphene processing plant in Sri Lanka, which allows the company to monitor the quality of products that it rolls out into the market from the mining of the graphite, processing, and refining, to development of end applications.
Its subsidiary, Graphene Corp., has its own graphene research and development facility in Canada. The advanced processing facility is dedicated to producing high-quality graphene for commercial applications. In addition, Elcora is known for its high-quality graphite anode powder used in Li-ion batteries, and it has its own Li-ion battery R&D laboratory. These put Elcora in a unique position to produce graphene-infused Li-ion batteries that are more efficient, can store more power, and have lower costs than the existing batteries.
With these, the company is no doubt capable of helping meet the world’s future demand for graphene and lithium-ion batteries. The need for these batteries will be massive and will be an important narrative of the ever-innovating world.