Graphene business news June-July 2017

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Grolltex has announced a new CVD graphene production facility in San Diego. The new Grolltex graphene facility is capable of producing the largest high-quality sheets of graphene manufactured in the U.S. for commercial sale. According to CEO, Jeff Draa; “Many in the U.S. graphene community see the country as behind other parts of the world in graphene research and development as well as graphene product creation and implementation. We believe opening this facility helps take the U.S. forward in domestic capability and capacity in CVD graphene.”

Canadian graphene producer Zenyatta Ventures has established a wholly owned Euroean subsidiary called ZEN-tech Materials Limited. ZEN-tech will focus on the development and commercialization activities of graphene applications and the allocation of any associated intellectual property (‘IP’) and worldwide licensing. The new company will allow Zenyatta greater access to the European market. The company has also recently announced a collaboration program with Alliance Rubber Company and the University of Sussex, UK (“S to develop enhanced rubber products using graphene converted from the Company’s high-purity Albany graphite.

The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) has launched a new special interest group focusing on commercial opportunities for the UK in ‘Graphene and Other 2D Materials.’
“The UK has been a global leader in research on graphene since it was isolated at the University of Manchester in 2004, and we are well positioned to take a significant share of the current $300 million global market for the production and supply of graphene materials,” said Robert Quarshie, Head of Materials at KTN, graphene and 2D products. The work of this special interest group is to try and encourage UK companies to use graphene and other 2D materials to try to improve the look, feel, and performance of their products.” Further information at http://www.ktn-uk.co.uk/interests/graphene-and-other-2D-materials

A joint venture between Henrik Fisker’s new automotive company and Nanotech Energy Inc. to develop a graphene battery for the forthcoming all-electric EMotion sedan has failed to materialize.
“In order to meet the timetable for Henrik Fisker, we would have had to just focus on that and that alone,” Jack Kavanaugh, chairman and acting CEO UK-based graphene producer Haydale has announced the launch of its Taiwan operations, Haydale Technologies Taiwan (‘HTW’), which will operate as a dedicated producer and sales outlet of graphene-based conductive inks and pastes, including other functional and specialty inks and pastes.
Located in Southern Taiwan, HTW has largely completed the setup of its own dedicated ink production facility to meet its anticipated demand.

Researchers from Tsinghua University in China have developed a new type of user-interactive electronic skin, with a colour change perceptible to the human eye, and achieved it with a much-reduced level of strain. The team employed flexible electronics made from graphene, in the form of a highly-sensitive resistive strain sensor, combined with a stretchable organic electrochromic device. Read more http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/2053-1583/aa78cc

First Graphite is planning construction of a commercial graphene production facility. At full capacity the facility may produce approximately 90 tonnes of high quality graphene per year. First Graphite holds the worldwide licence agreement to for Adelaide University’s graphene-based fire retardant technology.

Spanish company Graphenea has announced the opening of its new graphene oxide (GO) pilot plant with 1 tonne per annum production capacity. Although Graphenea is already producing GO dispersion, powder, and films, the new plant significantly increases production capacity, simultaneously allowing for higher quality and batch-to-batch reproducibility. The plant houses in-line quality control of each individual batch.

A 12-tonne Iveco Eurocargo from Fraikin’s rental fleet has become what is believed to be the world’s first rigid truck to utilise motor racing-style Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) regenerative braking technology – a major step forward in urban truck operations that provides operators with significant fuel savings while also cutting emissions.
The KERS device has been installed by UK vehicle conversion specialists Alternatech, which worked alongside hybrid technology specialists Adgero and graphene supercapacitor company Skeleton Technologies to get the vehicle on the road.
The KERS system works by harnessing the energy created under braking. This energy is stored in a set of ultracapacitors – a lighter, less costly and more efficient alternative to lithium-ion batteries – then used to provide acceleration assistance via an electric motor fitted to the prop shaft.
The KERS technology, developed by Adgero and Skeleton Technologies, has already been successfully installed on articulated vehicles, but this is believed to be the first time the system has been fitted to a rigid truck. The power conversion is made possible thanks to Skeleton Technologies’ patented graphene ultracapacitors, which facilitate better conductivity and are able to absorb and store greater amounts of power. This power is then channelled to the electric motor via specialised ECU software developed by Skeleton Technologies’ engineers in Estonia.
Taavi Madiberk, CEO of Skeleton Technologies, says: “The partnership with Fraikin highlights the significant impact utilising regenerative braking technology and energy storage can have. This is an important first step in realising essential efficiencies for the industry and we look forward to seeing further advances in this field.” During initial testing, the KERS system offered 32 per cent fuel savings when compared to a standard vehicle of the same type, as well as slashing associated nitrogen oxide emissions by around 50 per cent and carbon dioxide emissions by around 30 per cent.

FLEXIBLE GRAPHENE

Researchers at The University of Manchester have demonstrated flexible battery-like devices printed directly on to textiles using a simple screen-printing technique. They have demonstrated a solid-state flexible supercapacitor device using conductive graphene-oxide ink to print onto cotton fabric. The printed electrodes exhibited excellent mechanical stability due to the strong interaction between the ink and textile substrate.
Dr Nazmul Karim, Knowledge Exchange Fellow, the National Graphene Institute and co-author of the paper said: “The development of graphene-based flexible textile supercapacitor using a simple and scalable printing technique is a significant step towards realising multifunctional next generation wearable e-textiles.”
Dr Amor Abdelkader, also co-author of the paper said: “Textiles are some of the most flexible substrates, and for the first time, we printed a stable device that can store energy and be as flexible as cotton.
“The device is also washable, which makes it practically possible to use it for the future smart clothes. We believe this work will open the door for printing other types of devices on textile using 2D-materials inks.”

GRAPHENE SMART ROADS

Australian start-up Imagine Intelligent Materials (Imagine IM) has won $100,000 grant from toll road operator Transurban to develop graphene based sensors fo “smart” roads.
The grant will be used by Imagine IM over a nine-month period to build graphene-based sensors that will be able to be installed under motorways. These will ultimately be able to monitor and self report on traffic movement, road conditions, and eventually even enable energy storage or generation. “At Imagine IM we don’t just talk about the cool things you can do with graphene. We are developing a vertically integrated company that can make graphene, functionalise it, realise applications for it via smart, sensing fibers and textiles, and build the hardware interface devices that enable data to be extracted,” said Imagine IM’s CEO Chris Gilbey.

GRAPHENE CEMENT

Talga Resources has announced the execution of a nonbinding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Heidelberg Cement – a Germany-based multinational building materials producer and producer of concrete products.
Talga and Heidelberg have entered into the MOU in order to jointly explore business opportunities associated with Talga’s graphite and graphene based materials in carbon enhanced concrete applications for the building and construction sector. The annoucement comes after three months Talga announced they improved thermal conductivity of cement by 30% by adding adding graphite and graphene at unspecified weight loadings.

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