MesoGraf™gives graphene the elusive scalability to reach the Market
Today, May 23, 2013, Grafoid Inc., part of Focus Graphite (TSXV: FMS | OTCQX: FCSMF), announced the launch of a trademarked graphene product called MesoGraf™ (‘MesoGraf’). The product represents nothing short of the first platform for the industrialization and commercialization of graphene. Stories about graphene’s novel applications and their potential are published daily around the world. MesoGraf, therefore, represents the first tool through which to achieve graphene’s potential, bridging the gap between the growing bodies of graphene research with actual commercialization of the material, essentially making the science available to the market. Until now, graphene has been limited to development and study in the laboratory; commercial scale applications have not yet been possible.
At the ‘New Diamond Nano Carbons’ conference in Singapore, Gary Economo, President and CEO of Focus Graphite and Grafoid Inc. unveiled the trademarked MesoGraf, which represents the first example of an economically scalable and commercially viable graphene material. Grafoid worked closely with the National University of Singapore to develop MesoGraf. Graphite Zero Pte. a Singapore-based graphene R&D and production company, chaired by Mr., Economo, is a spinoff of the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Graphene Research Center and it will play an important role in the research and development aspects of MesoGraf.
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MesoGraf is based on a vertically integrated business model based on a one-step method of exfoliating natural graphite ore. Gary Economo suggests that MesoGraf could become the standard ‘go-to’ graphene material. MesoGraf was developed in a USD$ 100 million research facility at NUS by Dr. Loh Kian Ping and Grafoid co-founder Dr. Gordon Chiu. The main difference between MesoGraf and all other attempts at developing a graphene material is that MesoGraf is finally able to offer the scalability that is needed to bring the material’s potential to the market. A scalable graphene material implies that it can be made to address a large increase in users and applications without undue effort. Scalability has been the ‘weak link’ in graphene until now.
MesoGraf addresses this shortcoming because it means that end users will be able to order varying sizes or forms of the material while maintaining its integrity. This is why it opens up much sought after commercial channels, establishing the new standard. Mr. Economo has described MesoGraf as an economical and market-ready product able to reach end users worldwide. Mr. Economo did not offer hints about pricing but he said that MesoGraf has already attracted customers, including battery a chemical manufacturers and a large utility company – and, in fact, Focus Graphite has worked closely with Hydro Quebec in the development of fast charging technology. The other key aspect of MesoGraf is its vertical integration from raw supply to final product. MesoGraf will be derived using natural flake graphite ore from Focus’s Lac Knife deposit in Quebec in a patented one-step process. Even this process is ‘scalable’ because, it can use any graphite ore with 10% or higher purity according to Mr. Economo.
Graphene, despite its one atom thickness and chicken wire structure, is extremely strong, perhaps the strongest material available today, and extremely conductive, which renders it ideal for use in countless applications from batteries to airframe composites and as cooling agents. The Iron and bronze ages marked the rise of the first urban civilizations; alchemy in the Middle Ages led to the development of chemistry and the discovery of new elements, but every era has its material. Steel, plastic, aluminum and silicon were the materials that propelled technological progress in the 20th century. Graphene, the first two-dimensional material ever, has now arrived on the scene and ready to change industrial and scientific paradigms.
Graphene has the potential to be used in applications representing all industrial sectors and its potential is seen as rivaling the role of silicon. However, unlike silicon, the new ‘miracle’ material is not mass produced yet. Graphene, as a material, is still at the experimental stage and it is very expensive – it can cost as much as USD$ 600,000 a kilo at a specialized online graphene vendor called Graphene Supermarket. In order to make graphene commercially viable, an affordable and efficient production method must be developed. MesoGraf has now filled this gap, setting the stage for all the various graphene innovations to come to life …and to market.