Sixth Element Graphene & the Global Graphene Expo: Interview with Bernhard Münzing

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Please tell us a bit about Sixth Element and your role in the company.

I am the Sales Director of Sixth Element and I’m mainly responsible for graphene product introduction and sales in Europe, but I also help with other regions.

Sixth Element is approximately seven years old and has an employee group of 240 people. We are a stock-listed company on the Chinese stock market. Our headquarters are located in Changzhou, China.

Product wise, we are a leading manufacturer of graphene oxide, reduced graphene oxide and graphene, which are available in different product forms (powder, suspensions and masterbatch); all adjusted to certain applications. Together with two other companies (AGM and NanoXplore), we have established the EU REACh graphene registration consortium, which has a joint registration for graphene and graphene oxide. Reduced graphene oxide will be registered by end of 2018. Each member uses the joint registration dossier for its individual registration, which involves specific company data.

Sixth Element has been the lead registrant for graphene and graphene oxide. This is outstanding, because it shows that we all believe in graphene and that we are willing to do all of the regulatory work to satisfy customer needs. The company is also ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified.

Sixth Element currently has a capacity of 260 t/a for graphene oxide and 130 t/a for graphene at our facility in Changzhou, using a modified hummers method. At our site in Wuxi, we produce what we call ‘graphene film’ (graphene deposited on PE/PET film), starting with a CVD process. Currently, we are still number one with our capacity level, compared to our competitors.

What do you think makes your graphene oxide unique and sets you apart from the competition?

Firstly, Sixth Element has a very low lot-to-lot difference and we have the highest oxygen content in the overall product. This means that we have a lot of possibilities to act or react with other chemicals, which is something very special.

We are also able to play around with different primary particle sizes as well.

Taking all of our products into account, we hold product qualifications in automotive tyre treads, anti-corrosion coatings for marine applications, thermoplastics and fibers. Our products’ mechanical, electrical and thermal properties make them very successful across all of these applications.

Do you think that conferences like the Global Graphene Expo are important?

One reason why I’m here is to promote regulatory questions, and to encourage the industry to work on industry regulations together.

I think that in the U.S., compared to Europe, this is really the only graphene conference. In Europe, we have the graphene flagship program meeting once a year and many other graphene conferences, which is obviously, different to the situation in the US. The flagship program in Europe ensures that a lot more people are involved from all different areas, including toxicologists and other experts looking into the safety of graphene and graphene products.

If you look at the market in China, there are a lot of companies dealing with graphene, though not all are producing. The Chinese Government is putting a large amount of money into the industry – 1 billion Euros, similar to the 1 billion Euros from Europe. So they are definitely an industry to watch.

Personally, I think the main reasons to have more conferences like these is to make the industry aware that if you would like to market products, there are regulations that you have to pass and you must follow.

About Bernhard Münzing

Bernhard Münzing started his career at BASF, selling fibre reinforced prepregs, mainly to the aerospace and sports industry. He then joined L. Brüggemann, a medium sized chemical company, responsible for materials management and market introduction of new products.

After short period as Sales Manager for a small paint company, he worked for more than 17 years at GELITA, the leading gelatine manufacturer. Covering all potential applications areas for gelatine, he helped customers to adapt the product during the critical phase of the BSE disease. This was followed by a position in business development for more than 10 years, introducing a new product line to the food market, establishing a new production technology for a special gelatine and launching gelatine -based formulations into the metal processing industry.

Since July 2016 Bernhard has been a Sales Director with The Sixth Element.

Bernhard was a speaker at the 2018 Global Graphene Expo in Austin, TX

About the National Graphene Association (NGA)

The National Graphene Association is the main organization and body in the U.S. advocating and promoting the commercialization of graphene. NGA is focused on addressing critical issues such as policy and standards development that will result in effective integration of graphene and graphene based materials globally. NGA brings together current and future graphene stakeholders — entrepreneurs, companies, researchers, developers and suppliers, investors, venture capitalists and government agencies — to drive innovation, and to promote and facilitate the commercialization of graphene products and technologies.

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