China ready to launch Graphene Industrial Production in 2013
As a new material, graphene in the past years has been developing at amazingly high speed. On December 5, 2012, graphene coated aluminum foil, achieved through a new technological approach, was put into production by Ningbo Morsh Technology Co., Ltd in Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, China with an expected annual output of two million square meters. China has been moving quickly to shift graphene out of the laboratory to industrial development and the market. The graphene industry chain is gradually forming in China due to its own domestic demand for advanced materials and the rapid development of graphene industrial technology.
The graphene coated aluminum foil will be used to increase conductivity in cathodes for Li-ion batteries. The ultrathin graphene coating layer has a thickness of less than 1 micron which is ~1/10 of the traditional carbon black coatings. This development has the potential to reduce interface resistance and increase the adhesive strength between active materials and Aluminum foil, thereby enhancing the rate capability and cycling stability of the batteries according to Ningbo Morsh Technology.
“The graphene material produced in the pilot production line with an annual output capacity of 30 tons has been widely used by many manufacturers, and the resulting graphene products compare very favorably, occupying a leading position in terms of quality, scale and cost as compared to competitors worldwide,” said Dr. Liu Zhaoping at the Ningbo Institute of Material Technology and Engineering (NIMTE), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), during a meeting of the International New Material and Industrialization Forum. Ningbo Morsh Technology Co., Ltd. Expects to make its new graphene production line operational, at an annual capacity of 300 tons, by August, 2013. Moreover, the Company has started planning for another graphene production line with an annual capacity of 1000 tons as well as a doubling of production capacity at its graphene coated aluminum foil project. In fact, Dr. Liu’s team also conducted the preparation of graphene-based nano-composites for Li-ion battery application, having achieved many research breakthroughs in recent years.
In China, Dr. Liu’s team has been the first to achieve success in using a very low cost and scalable method for making high quality graphene, further realizing the practical applications of this amazing carbon material. Besides this, China’s graphene research and development projects have also made important progress in other parts of the country. In December, 2012, the Institute of Metal Research (IMR) Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced that their pilot production line for low cost and large-scale preparation graphene technology had been successful; it is expected to conclude a joint venture for the industrialization of graphene with the Jinlu Group as soon as possible in Deyang City, Sichuan province. Some local governments have started to plan graphene industrial parks to promote a related industry chain, including such areas as the provinces of Ningde, Fujian, Shenzhen, Guangdong and beyond.
The country’s rapid development of a graphene industrial technology may be attributed to the local governments having attached great importance and vigorous support to graphene. The material has been attracting a tremendous amount of attention because of its tremendous application variety and potential. The impact of graphene technology will be far-reaching, and will include graphene composites, functional inks, touch screens, super-capacitors, batteries, sensors and bio-electronics and beyond. There can be no doubt that graphene will develop as a popular raw material starting in 2013 thanks to related commercial applications, starting with lithium ion batteries.
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