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Vol 7 Issue 10



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This month is book-ended by job advertisements that provide a glimpse into two early-stage graphene companies; both have emerged from the Manchester ecosystem and neither has disclosed much in public about their activity. You will recall that the world’s first billion-dollar graphene company was announced earlier this year (vol7 iss 5 p.30). It was founded by Dr. Vivek Koncherry, a researcher at the University of Manchester who had already started up a multi-million company at the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC), Manchester, UK. No formal announcements have been made so far, we expect these to come from the United Arab Emirates leadership later this year, possibly coinciding with the COP 28 conference in early December 2023.

We now know the name of this $billion graphene company, it is called Graphene Giga Technologies (GGT) and is based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The company has started to recruit for scientists and experienced scientists who will be paid up to £175,000 per year, tax free. The roles are based in Abu Dhabi, and it looks like the company will be working on graphene powders applied to concrete and polymer composites in the construction sector. AI, Healthcare, textiles, and hydrogen storage appear to be other areas of focus for the company.

At the other end of the spectrum, a smaller start-up company, Molymem Ltd has announced it is recruiting for a scientist based in Manchester, working from the GEIC. Molymem have not had much public profile so far. They are working with one of the new 2D materials, Molybdenum Disulphide (MoS2), using it as a filter for industrial wastewater treatment. MoS2 is interesting as a filter medium as it can operate in very corrosive environments. Even more interesting, they state their filter technology can be used to desalinate water. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this company when it starts making official announcements.

Graphene enhanced batteries feature prominently this month. A team at the University of Manchester has developed a new type of battery anode containing silicon oxide wrapped in carbon and enhanced with graphene. This has created a battery with increased energy density in the lab. The new battery anode needs more development because while the team have reduced the swelling and cracking usually associated with silicon containing anodes, there is still some cracking which reduces the capacity when repeatedly charged and discharged.

In the meantime, US based battery manufacturer, Lyten has announced it has raised $200 million investment for its latest round of development of its graphene enhanced lithium-ion-sulphur battery cells. Voltaxplore, the Canadian subsidiary of Nanoxplore also announced a commercial deal to supply graphene enhanced lithium-ion batteries to a heavy good vehicle manufacturer. The company will supply 1Gwh of batteries from its giga factory in Quebec, Canada.

So, we begin with one Giga-company and end with another Giga-factory. Graphene is rapidly becoming bigger than most people realise. You can find all the details about this and more in yet another packed issue. Please read on…

Adrian Nixon

1st October 2023