Increasing production of green graphene
Using lignin, Bright Day Graphene develops the super material graphene, which is lighter than cotton but stronger than steel. Now the production is ready for the next step, to go from a gram-scale production to one tonne per year.
True graphene only consists of one layer of carbon atoms, is transparent, flexible and can be formed into any shape. In addition to being lighter than cotton and 300 times stronger than steel, it has thermal and electrically conductive properties. This makes it highly desirable in the materials market.
Graphene can be used for a variety of things. However, Bright Day Graphene believes that it really can make a difference when it comes to energy. Both as a renewable energy source, and to create a more efficient energy storage.
The graphene can conduct electric current completely without resistance, it is thousands of times thinner than a sheet of paper and is needed in very small quantities for a larger area. For example Bright Day Graphene says that Samsung has developed a graphene battery that has 45 percent higher capacity and five times as fast charging compared to today’s mobile batteries. This means that you can get a fully charged mobile in just twelve minutes.
The possibilities that come with the material are great but making the graph on a larger scale is difficult. Most attempts are based on graphite, which is mined. A challenge in the process is to make sure that the graphene flakes do not clump together. Bright Day Graphene’s method gets around the problem, and at the same time makes the production more sustainable using the forest raw material lignin – “the natural glue of the forest”, which binds the cellulose fibres in wood and gives them strength.
– The challenge has been to prove that our method is scalable. We thought so a year ago and now we can show that it is so. It is an important milestone for us, says Anna Carlsson, co-founder, and technical manager at Bright Day Graphene, to Ny Teknik.
For a year now, Bright Day Graphene has been manufacturing graphene on a gram scale in a lab pilot. It is used within the framework of a project on energy storage, sensors for smart packaging, bactericidal surfaces, and barriers for packaging.
The company is now planning for the construction of an industrial pilot in 2022, with a capacity of one tonne per year.
– There is a huge hype around the graphene, and many have an idea of how they want to use the material based on this hype that has been created. But the graphene available on the market may not always live up to expectations. It is an opportunity for us, because with our material we can, among other things, achieve better current-carrying properties, says Anna Carlsson.