Our company’s graphene technology features in the January 2018 edition of the Cambridge Magazine.
In the article, our Chief Scientist, Dr Catharina Paukner, and our Chief Operations Officer, Dr Anna Mieczakowski, discuss how graphene’s development is accelerating at an impressive pace, and how our company uses a unique and environmentally-friendly graphene production method based on microwave plasma reactor, which eschews the traditional way of mining graphite and turning it into graphene.
Photo credit: Phil Morley, Cambridge News.
According to Catharina: “Graphene is the first two-dimensional material we ever had, there’s never been anything like it, and that requires us to adapt the way we do things, which doesn’t happen overnight. So though it’s seven years since the Nobel Prize, in material development that’s really nothing. I actually find it surprising how much progress there has been in the last seven years, how far it’s gone industrially and how many companies are producing it. It’s probably closer to widespread use than we think.”
Regarding the graphene production method, Catharina adds: “We start with a gas, methane, which is a by-product in many industries including farming and oil mining,” Catharina says. “It’s a very potent greenhouse gas, thirty times more potent than CO2, and people who have it don’t know what to do with it, so they usually burn it off to turn it into CO2. People aren’t used to hearing about methane, but it’s very harmful, and our process starts by using it and converting it into graphene, because it has the chemical formula CH4, just carbon and hydrogen. So we make solid carbon, the graphene, and the by-product is hydrogen, which is actually quite clean.”
In terms of customers, FGV Cambridge Nanosystems sells its graphene to scientists across the country and beyond, as well as having its fingers in a lot of different commercial pies. Though many of the industries concerned have long development timelines, some are nearing fruition quicker than others. According to Anna: “The automotive industry, particularly Formula One racing, is one of the quicker ones to develop new technology, along with aerospace, although that’s a bit more conservative for obvious safety reasons. But aerospace is a big industry we’re tapping into with our composite materials made from graphene. If you take a Boeing 787, for example, using our composite material you could reduce the weight by about 3,700kg per plane, which is quite significant.”
To read the full article, see the Cambridge News website.