With just over a month to go until Graphene & 2D Materials USA 2019, IDTechEx's Senior Technology Analyst, Dr Richard Collins caught up with Dr Bor Jang of Global Graphene Group to hear his thoughts on graphene manufacturing and the opportunity for graphene.
What is unique about Global Graphene Group as a graphene manufacturer?
"Global Graphene Group (G3), as a graphene producer, is unique in the following aspects:
- Our research team was the first to discover graphene, filing the first graphene patent in 2002. [B. Z. Jang, et al, "Nano-scaled Graphene Plates," US Pat. Appl. No. 10/274,473 (10/21/2002); now US Pat. No. 7,071,258 (07/04/2006)].
- Global Graphene Group now has over 420+ graphene-related US patents, plus 100+ international patent applications.
- We invented some of the most widely used graphene production processes, such as the chemical oxidation/intercalation process (2002) and liquid phase exfoliation (2007). Today, we're the world's largest manufacturer of single-layer graphene, based on our patented graphene production processes. -We are the inventor and developer of many of graphene's critical applications, such as composites (2002), fuel cell (2004), supercapacitor (2006), lithium battery anodes and cathodes (2007), thermal films (2007), tires, lubricants and grease. We produce not only graphene powder, but also graphene dispersions and master-batches, and select down-stream products (e.g. graphene-based heat spreaders)."
What do you see as the biggest opportunity for your graphene in the medium and long term?
"Several major applications (so-called killer applications) of graphene are expected to emerge soon: heat spreader films, thermally and electrically conductive composites, anti-corrosion coatings, and energy storage. We will see exponential growth as customers integrate graphene into their products to a point where large expansions of graphene manufacturing are necessary. The challenge will be keeping up with the demand as products in energy storage and engineered solutions grow rapidly."
What are your biggest hurdles to commercial success?
- "Down-stream customers must be convinced that graphene is not just a substitute for the incumbent material for moderate improvements in certain properties. Rather, graphene must demonstrate certain unique performance characteristics that no other materials can provide, or demonstrate significantly higher performance without compromising the product costs and without requiring the customers to significantly alter their existing facilities and equipment.
- Potential customers often do not fully appreciate the challenges in dispersing graphene sheets in a desired liquid or solid matrix. They often think they are an expert in dispersing all nano materials. As such, the challenge of helping our customers disperse and use graphene in their products to maximize its value is critical."
Do you think the often mentioned "tipping point" for the graphene market is approaching?
"The tipping point is approaching fast. Everyday we're working to develop more cost-effective methods of producing graphene more economically, which will help our customers to incorporate our graphene into their products. And our team of highly talented scientists and engineers are working on the development of more major unique applications using graphene that will advance the graphene industry."
What do you hope to gain from the IDTechEx Show!?
"I hope to share my story and experience with graphene to a larger audience. It is always great to meet and talk with others who are active in the graphene industry to share ideas and perspectives."