By Dr Khasha Ghaffarzadeh for IDTechEx.com
I have just recently returned from the Graphene 2017 conference in Barcelona where I gave an invited talk. There is tremendous scientific progress, both on CVD and platelet type graphene, and across many graphene applications. Interestingly, the participants however repeatedly suggested that the industry has now passed the peak of hype and is well into the disillusionment period.
At IDTechEx, we have been closely following the graphene industry over the past five years. We regularly interview suppliers and users, organize the leading events on the topics, and speak at many conferences around the world.
As observed in our report, we see these developments as a natural part of the market growth for a new material, which is inevitably a slow and patient process. Here I will bring you up-to-date with our latest market analysis.
Material diversity: characteristic of carbon additive business
The market now accepts the diversity of graphene types and that not all graphenes are equal. This was evident from the outset but the hype and buzz prevented many from recognising this trend.
This diversity is depicted in a double-logarithmic chart below which plots the nominal morphology of graphenes offered on the market on the basis of lateral size and thickness. Clearly, these materials, all sold as graphene, occupy a large area.
This is however no surprise. In fact, it is a characteristic of the carbon additive business. It is observed even in the mature carbon black industry where numerous carbon black types exist, each commanding a different prices and catering to a different market need.
An implication of this diversity is that no ‘winning’ graphene material will emerge. The market will test all manners of graphenes, and the winning material will be application specific.
This demonstrates the futility of competing on the basis of quality levels at the powder level, and the necessity of proving performance and value add at, at least, the intermediary level. The industry recognizes this too, and is moving en mass downstream.
Caption: (left) price of graphene nanoplatelets quoted by different suppliers around the world, showing a large disparity. (right): nominal morphology of graphene nanoplatelets offered by different companies. Source: IDTechEx
You can read more about the future of graphene pricing and production volume at the link below.