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Posted: Dec 05, 2013
Graphene LIVE! USA 2013 conference round-up
(Nanowerk News) According to the organizers, Graphene LIVE! USA was a huge success. It brought together 30 top-class speakers and 16 graphene exhibitors, giving them access to a pool of more than 2,000 business-oriented attendees and 160+ exhibiting companies.
Dr Khasha Ghaffarzadeh, the Head of Consulting at IDTechEx, pointed out that "our co-located events give the graphene community great exposure and access to many high-priority end-user groups such as the printed electronic, supercapacitor, transparent conductive film and energy harvesting communities".
IDTechEx events are business-oriented shows focused on commercialisation. IDTechEx has an excellent network across the industry as well as a deep understanding of the graphene industry and players. This enables IDTechEx to organise a commercially-relevant programme that evolves with the industry. IDTechEx will be hosting its next co-located Graphene Live! event in Berlin, Germany on 1-2 April 2014 - www.idtechex.com/GrapheneEurope
"IDTechEx continues to organize the premier graphene conference focused on the needs of industry. This was our second year of participation in the USA event, and we'll definitely be returning for a third in 2014". Cambridge Graphene Platform
"Congratulations to the IDTechEx team for organizing another stellar event. The caliber of attendees and programming was excellent. Graphene Live! was a great opportunity for Bluestone to network and generate quality leads, some of whom have already converted. We look forward to participating in your next event". Bluestone
Vorbeck discussed the latest progress with commercialising graphene. Their graphene inks are now increasingly being positioned as reliable, stretchable and robust interconnects that can even withstand multiple washing cycles. Vorbeck demonstrated several end product concepts and prototypes incorporating graphene in sectors as diverse as energy storage and smart textiles. This builds on their previous success at launching a security-packaging product with MWV.
Grafoid discussed aspects of its manufacturing technique, which promises to reduce production cost substantially below existing market prices. Grafoid is also focused on a range of end-use categories, creating a separate go-to-market vehicle, brand and/or partnership for each sector.
Momentive showcased its progress with two-dimensional (or layered) boron nitride, which is an insulator. A differentiator for boron nitride as an additive is that it gives rise to thermal conductivity without increasing electrical conductivity simultaneously. Momentive discussed the progress and challenges associated with multiple manufacturing techniques, outlining differences with graphene production.
Cabot Corporation also outlined its progress and views on graphene. Cabot Corporation is a leading provider of a variety of carbon products, including activated and black carbon. It demonstrated a realistic assessment of graphene as an additive in energy storage and composite devices, suggesting application and market sectors where graphene may deliver value, primary by reducing the wt% of additives for a given (or higher) performance level. Cabot Corporation also discussed concerns over the health issues associated with both small and multi-layered graphene.
PPG Industries explained its substrate-less CVD graphene nanoplatelets production method that uses methane as the precursor. Incubation Alliance also discussed its unique substrate-less CVD manufacturing process which creates flower-like arrangements of graphene nanoplatelets. Their differentiator is that they can use the entire chamber area in a CVD process (as opposed to just utilising the surface of a copper substrate). Applied Graphene Materials also focuses on a substrate-less CVD process and have definite plans to ramp up production. Applied Graphene Materials recently floated on the AIM aimed great initial market reception.
Graphenea opened discussions on the use of graphene in energy storage devices including supercapacitors. Graphenea covered different graphene synthesis technologies, arguing that each technique produces a graphene of different quality and offers a different economy of scale. It was noted that the market today is over-supplied, and price are falling owing to process improvement. Graphenea sees graphene at the beginning of the hype cycle.
Graphene Frontiers presented micro-supercapacitor with hybrid CNT/graphene structure composed. The micron scale size of these devices enable (a) integration into electronic systems for AC line filtering and (b) discrete power sources with reduced size and weight. Graphene Frontiers had licensed this hybrid technology from Rice University. However, they did not renew their license after further market analysis indicated that the hybrid materials could not manufactured at commercial scale yet. The cost targets were also stringent as aluminum electrolytic capacitors today cost less than dollar. Graphene Frontiers is now instead aggressively entering the sensor market where it hopes to exploit graphene's extreme conductivity and high sensitivity.
Angstron Materials presented promising results on graphene implementation in energy storage devices. Their latest research has been focused in using graphene as an additive in multiple composites for supercapacitor electrodes. Interestingly, the company is using ionic liquids as electrolyte, achieving at lab level energy densities of about 80 Wh/kg and power densities of 1kW/kg. This means the same energy density as a lithium ion battery but with higher power. At product level the company presented respectable results, showcasing a 350 F cell with 14 Wh/kg. This is higher than most commercially available supercapacitors. The company is still working on an optimal configuration to offer higher energy density than current supercapacitors while maintaining the prized power density stability and lifespan.
The Stevens Institute of Technology discussed a method of making inkjet-printed graphene in micro-supercapacitors. Graphene oxide water ink droplets are applied through print head nozzles. An infrared heat lamp reduces the graphene oxide to graphene. This technique allows the manufacturing of graphene layers by controlling the spacing and diameter between graphene oxide droplets. The results present higher capacitance and energy density than powder graphene electrode manufacturing techniques reported in the literature.
For more information on graphene markets and profiles and progress of key players please refer to the IDTechEx report "Graphene Markets, Technologies, and Opportunities 2013-2018"