At the latest IDTechEx 2016 Show in Santa Clara, our Chief Operations Officer, Dr Anna Mieczakowski, presented our novel, green and cost-effective production process for converting harmful green house gases and food waste generated biogas into two highly valuable products – graphene and hydrogen:
- Graphene, which is currently called the ‘wonder material of the 21st century’, is around 200 times stronger than steel yet lightweight and flexible and more conductive than copper. It is a truly extraordinary material having the potential to radically reshape the way we think, design and manufacture in a host of areas – from racing cars to rust-free paint, from mobile phones to medical science.
- Hydrogen, which is not found in pure form on Earth, lies at the centre of an international hydrogen economy initiative to use this low-carbon energy source for replacing, for example, gasoline as a transport fuel or natural gas as a heating fuel. Hydrogen is highly attractive because, whether it is burned to produce heat, or reacted with air in a fuel cell to produce electricity, its only by-product is water.
Anna was among 210 other IDTechEx speakers, who discussed market needs, case studies and technology breakthroughs in a host of areas, including graphene production and applications, Internet of Things applications, 3-D printing, wearable sensors, printed electronics, electric vehicles, energy harvesting applications, etc. The IDTechEx Show was attended by 3,146 attendees coming from 45 countries. Filling the exhibit hall were 212 exhibitors showcasing materials, machinery, components, finished devices and services.
Our graphene, presented at the IDTechEx Show, is truly unique in the current market place as, unlike other common methods for graphene production such as solvent exfoliation and graphite oxidization, it does not involve any graphite processing or catalyst, and the resultant graphene product is over 99.8% free from metal and other impurities. It addition, our graphene can be already produced on an industrial scale.
Our graphene production contributes significantly to the large international effort to offset green house emissions and stop food waste from unnecessarily going into landfill. Specifically, greenhouse gases trap heat and make our planet warmer. In 2014, European Union emitted over 4,000 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents, while the whole world emitted over 40 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (Source: Eurostat, 2014). In our graphene production, we use carbon dioxide and methane as feedstock and convert it, in a one-step process, into graphene and other useful solid carbon forms.
Furthermore, food is a very valuable resource and yet across all the current member states of the European Union (EU) 88 million tonnes of food gets wasted annually (source: European Union Committee, 2014, Counting the Cost of Food Waste). Our company, alongside our EU PlasCarb Project partners, has found a solution to stopping food waste from going into landfill. Specifically, huge amounts of food waste can be not only anaerobically digested to form biogas and in the process decrease green house gas emissions and demands put on landfills, but they can also be transformed into two high value graphitic products – graphene and hydrogen.