Reprinted with permission from the April 2019 issue of TLT, the monthly magazine of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, an international not-for-profit professional society headquartered in Park Ridge, Ill., www.stle.org.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL GRAPHENE ASSOCIATION
The National Graphene Association (NGA) is the primary organization and body in the United States advocating and promoting the commercialization of graphene and addressing critical issues such as standards and policy development. Dubbed the “wonder material of 21st century,” graphene is the thinnest and strongest material ever discovered. Graphene is one atomic layer of carbon — transparent, flexible, and an excellent thermal and electrical conductor. NGA convenes current and future graphene stakeholders from graphene companies, research bodies, suppliers, developers, investors, venture capitalist and government agencies to drive innovation and expedite the commercialization of graphene technologies globally.
Had a long chat with Bernhard Münzing yesterday on “Things no one likes to talk about ….. but eventually will have to”
And that is….. Graphene…regulations…toxicology studies and registrations required for graphene producers to sell graphene materials in bulk in regions such as Europe, Korea, China.
Many graphene producers regards this issue as ” to be addressed later”… and that is a very dangerous approach. The time is now …. and there is already a group momentum and planned activities in place. The more graphene stakeholders get involved in this ongoing process, the faster and more effective the results will be.
We both understated that this is not a “fun” topic people like to sit around and chat about …it requires a great deal of education and also streamlining the process the information is distributed among stakeholders.
At the NGA board meeting last month, it was decided that we will have a dedicated task force on Health and Safety issues.
Jo Anne Shatkin, Bernhard and I will be discussing this in more details to potentially implement a platform through NGA that will address this issue.
I am finally back to Nashville. It was a great conference, lots of targeted discussions ( both on potential and challenges of the graphene industry), lots of networking and deals and connections being made.
I want to thank “Everyone” who was a part of this experience, our wonderful speakers, panelists, exhibitors, sponsors, corporate partners. We could not have done this without you…
I very much look forward to seeing you next year! graphene industry forward
Just got back from Shanghai. Many thanks to Johan Liu, for inviting me to the 2nd Sino-Swedish Graphene Innovation High Tech Forum.
It was a great meeting focused on the topic of thermal management which is actually one of the areas I see graphene adding quite bit of value especially in electronics & semicon industry. We saw an intriguing presentation from Lenova but unfortunately it was in Chinese and made me wonder once again why I am not learning Mandarin. ( The graphics seemed quite compelling though)
During the visit of the Supercarbon Gaphene Center, we discussed the business model of graphene industry parks in China funded by either the central government or by private investors. China’s rapid pace in graphene commercialization is quite astounding and government support is plentiful in the form of multi year tax exempt status, reduced or waived rent on the land on which these industry parks are built, infrastructure etc.
That being said, with the massive incentives and funding available, many companies with little potential get put on life support and live much longer than they should. That is perhaps a problem we see more clearly in China ….MANY MANY graphene contenders, companies, startups but difficult to weed out the ones with true potential from the ones artificially sustained by constant infusion of cash. The bubble will most likely burst at some point.
China is rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with in Graphene. It is important for us to gain full understanding of the Chinese graphene landscape. Furthermore, as I often say.. Graphene is a Global Material, its full potential is not going to be realized without closeknit international collaborations and partnerships.
I very much look forward to my next trip to China.
With support from the governor’s office and invaluable help from Texas Workforce Commission, we will make Global Graphene Expo the centerpoint for graphene innovation in the US. Texas has a great concentration of semiconductor, oil & gas, energy and advanced manufacturing industries. Many of my target meetings revolve around getting these industries involved in assessment of graphene.
Had a quick chat with State senator Royce West in the hallways about graphene and he started looking it up as we spoke. It sure got his attention… Spreading the word about graphene one member at a time.
Met with Robert Allen, the President of Texas Economic Development Corporation, Go Big In Texas (Certainly applies to the number of awards TEDC has won over the years!) discussed graphene and its impact on native Texas industries. One of the questions I am asked often in these meetings is: “what material is graphene going to replace?” Is it steel, is it silicon? Is it silver? Just to put it out there…it certainly is NOT silicon.
Coffee with Michael Swisher from SmartStripe which is a Lighted HyperData Platform that is built to replace existing road strips. Quite interesting innovation, Smartstripe is looking into graphene for the next step in the development. Michael will be showcasing smartstripe at the Global Graphene Expo in Oct.
It was great to see Deji Akinwande at his office in the EER building at The University of Texas at Austin. (One of the most architecturally impressive academic building I have seen! ) We discussed where UT Austin and other Texas institutions stand regarding graphene research, number of patents and spin off companies.
I am quite excited about hosting the Global Graphene Expo in Austin this October. After this trip I am assured that this was the right move. The innovative and fast paced energy oft he city is a good match for graphene.
Many thanks to Larry Temple and Aaron Demerson for opening strategic doors for us and making us feel so welcome in Austin. It is not everyday that you get a personal tour of the Texas State Capitol!
Small graphene spikes can slice open and kill bacteria. This creates a protective surface against infection.
I have seen conflicting results about anti bacterial properties of graphene so I personally find it satisfying that the group at Chalmers University of Technology discovered what kills the bacteria is not graphene itself but the vertical orientation of the flakes that act as tiny knives.
These small vertical flakes can damage and slice open the bacteria but because human cells are so much larger ( 25 micrometer vs 1 um) it doesn’t damage the human cells. Another cool thing is that they used PECVD (Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition) to create these flakes which makes the layer of carbon grows vertically instead of horizontally.
Great visit to the University of Mississippi and its Center for Manufacturing Excellence. Spent the day with new NGA corporate partner, Curadite, Inc. from California, along with some NanoTek folks. We all had a blast in Oxford with unrivaled Southern hospitality and lots of wonderful Southern food!
Most conversations revolved around incorporating graphene in Curadite design…challenges, next steps, potential partners.
Curadite is focused on disposable, sensor-enabled drug packaging to manage the opioid crisis in the US.
“The Curadite platform transforms the simple plastic pill bottle into a cellular enabled blister pack that tracks patient engagement in real-time. Compliance is supported with personalized text/call reminders using 4G cellular technology. ”
We discussed the integration of graphene, 2D printing and nanosilver to elevate the design, bring substantial advantages and also reduce the cost.
A good point brought up by CEO Dennis McNanny was that when we are prescribed opioids for a certain medical condition for a short amount of time it is considered a medication; after that period has elapsed, however, the same medication is then classified as a “drug.” Many addictions start with teens stealing pills from a family member.
The Curadite cloud-based design allows for warnings to be sent to the person after a blister pack is opened, so every pill is accounted for. Graphene can enable more secure and more sensitive packaging options, and I personally look forward to the outcome of this collaboration!
NGA is the main organization and body in the U.S. advocating and promoting the commercialization of graphene and addressing critical issues such as policy and standards development that will result in effective integration of graphene and graphene based materials globally