A Complete Solutions Graphene Company
This profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
Grafoid Inc. is a privately held graphene research, development and investment company. Grafoid’s mine-to-market business model, top-notch research and development facilities, and strategic partnerships have made the company an established leader in innovative graphene application development. Grafoid’s patented one-step process for converting graphite to high- purity Mesograf™ graphene is low cost, environmentally friendly, and capable of large-scale production.
Graphene, a two-dimensional nanomaterial, is widely recognized as a revolutionary, potential game-changer across every industrial sector. Grafoid is leading the revolution in changing how we live, work and play.
The Australian patent office, IP Australia, ruled on the validity of Grafoid’s graphite ore-to-graphene production process in August 2016, marking the second time a national government has ruled on the patent application. The ruling negates an Australian graphite mining company’s claim to be the inventor of the world’s first industrial-scale graphene production directly from raw graphite ore using electrochemical charging. The US government granted Patent 9221867 to the inventors of the process, Grafoid’s Founding Partner, President and Chief Operating Officer Gordon Chiu, and the National University of Singapore’s Loh Kian Ping and Junzhong Wang, in December 2015.
The university has granted exclusive license to Singapore-based Graphite Zero Pte. Ltd. for worldwide production rights for graphene products using the Mesograf™ name. Grafoid, the exclusive global marketing and sales agent for Mesograf™-based products, holds a majority ownership in Graphite Zero, which produces Mesograf™ in Singapore and at Grafoid’s Global Technology Centre in Kingston, Ontario.
“The ruling stands as a precedent-setting victory that our invention can be protected in any jurisdiction,” said Chiu. “The grant of patent is a clear indication that no other claims can even come close to our discovery.”
- Established global leader in graphene innovation.
- One-step, no harsh chemicals process means low-cost, high-purity graphene.
- Creating a global platform to deliver mine-to-market products.
- Grafoid is currently the world’s largest producer of graphene.
- Patented MesoGraf™ sets the global standard for graphene.
- World-class 220,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art technology research and development (R&D) center will house the first fully-operational Mesograf™ graphene production facility in North America.
- Establishing joint-venture relationships for the development of next-generation products.
- Grafoid has and will continue to sell Mesograf™ to joint-venture partners; royalties will primarily drive revenue.
- Raised about $30 million in private equity and government funding.
Industrial Market for Graphene Applications
The thinnest material known to science, graphene is also surprisingly the strongest material ever measured. The carbon-based super material is the most impermeable material on Earth. It is highly flexible, incredibly light and energy efficient with record thermal and electrical conductivity. These unique qualities make it a perfect material for a wide range of industrial-scale applications for the automotive, energy, plastics/polymers, aerospace and medical sectors, in addition to water treatment, computing and electronics sectors.
Key applications for graphene include batteries, fuel cells, solar panels/cells, electrochemical capacitors, automotive bumpers, smartphone screens, LED lighting, medical devices and 3D printing materials.
The graphene market is expected to expand dramatically after 2017 with a 60 percent compound annual growth rate between 2015 and 2020. Globally, more than 200 major corporations across Europe, North America and Asia are investing billions of dollars in graphene R&D as they compete for a major role in the commercialization of this strategically important material.
The successful commercialization of graphene depends on three primary factors:
- Unlimited access to a secure source of high-grade, high-quality graphite;
- Ability to produce near pristine graphene on an economically scalable basis; and
- Building strategic partnerships with the right players to develop the right applications.
Grafoid excels in all three of these areas and is advancing toward commercialization.
“The key vendors dominating this (graphene) market space are BASF, Grafoid Inc, IBM Corp, and Samsung Electronics Co.” – Global Graphene Markets 2012-2016 Infiniti Research Limited, October 2013.
Secure Source: Offtake Agreements with Focus Graphite
Grafoid largest shareholder (7.9 million Grafoid common shares) is Focus Graphite Inc. (TSXV:FMS), an advanced stage graphite mining company heading towards production at its Lac Knife graphite project located in Québec, Canada. Lac Knife, one of the highest-grade flake graphite deposits in the world, hosts a Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource Estimate of 9.58 million tonnes grading 14.77 percent graphitic carbon as natural flake graphite with an additional Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate of 3.1 million tonnes grading 13.25 percent graphitic carbon.
Conductivity test findings in March 2016 demonstrated that using Lac Knife graphite in both the anodes and cathodes of lithium-ion batteries enhanced overall battery efficiencies, including increased power, higher capacity, longer battery life and increased utilization of cathode active materials, leaving Focus Graphite well positioned to compete internationally. Focus Graphite’s proprietary process has also purified fine flake graphite sourced at Lac Knife to a 99.99 percent purity, making it ideal for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. The high-purity graphite concentrate produced from Lac Knife graphite makes it ideally-suited for Grafoid’s Mesograf™ one-step production process.
In June 2015, Grafoid and Focus Graphite signed two industry-first offtake agreements. The first offtake agreement, dubbed the “Graphene Offtake,” commits Grafoid to acquire up to a maximum of 1,000 tonnes of high-purity, large flake graphite concentrate annually for 10 years. The Graphene Offtake will supply Grafoid with materials for a range of next-generation graphene-based batteries (automotive and consumer electronics) and energy storage applications.
The second offtake agreement, the “Polymer Offtake,” commits Grafoid to acquire up to 25,000 tonnes of high-purity graphite concentrate annually for 10 years. The Polymer Offtake will supply Grafoid with material for a range of graphite-based polymer applications for the automotive and aerospace industry. The patented graphite-polymer process for fabricating such applications was developed by Grafoid’s wholly owned subsidiary, Graflow Inc., in partnership with Rutgers University’s Advanced Polymer Materials School of Engineering (AMIPP).
Economically Scalable Process: Patent One-Step Production for Mesograf™
In May 2013, Grafoid unveiled its unique graphite-to-Mesograf™ processing technology for which it controls the exclusive global license. Co-developed by Grafoid’s President, Chief Technology Officer and Founding Partner, Gordon Chiu, Mesograf™ production involves a unique one-step, environmentally sustainable process that extracts atom-thin graphene sheets directly from graphite ore.
The high costs associated with complex, energy-intensive production processes have been a major obstacle for the large-scale adoption of graphene. Traditional methods of producing graphene involve time-consuming stages, harsh chemicals and high costs. Grafoid’s one-step process eliminates unnecessary, energy-consuming steps to create low-cost graphene products that can be tailored to specific industrial, commercial, military, biomedical and humanitarian applications.
“The graphene market depends on the development of applications that involve combining graphene with other materials to improve and evolve technology,” explained Chester Burtt, Grafoid’s Director of Communications and Government Affairs. “The market will not move forward without these applications. But production must be economical or it will never be adopted by business. Our process for developing graphene-based products is very cost effective compared to the traditional, costly processes that involve the use of harsh chemicals that don’t lend themselves to quick production as our process does.”
This distinction is what makes Mesograf™ a game-changer; providing companies with a low-cost, high-purity graphene material for use in a wide variety of products. Grafoid’s ability to produce high-quality graphene suitable for diverse applications means the company doesn’t depend on the success of one niche industry and can generate revenue from every sector.
Core Attributes of Mesograf™
- Low Cost—The simple nature of the Mesograf™ production process has the potential to position Grafoid as the lowest-cost producer of graphene.
- High Purity—The Mesograf™ proprietary process produces near pristine condition graphene that retains its inherent high-energy density and physical integrity.
- High Yield—Graphene yields resulting from Mesograf’s one-step production process are 500 percent greater than traditional extraction methods.
- Scalable—Grafoid can produce Mesograf™ on a scalable production basis. Guaranteeing large-scale supply is critical for commercial and industrial graphene applications.
- Versatile—Mesograf™ has the potential to be adapted to the broadest possible range of industrial and consumer product applications.
- Environmentally Sustainable—The separation agents used in the Mesograf™ process create a reaction that is safe and nontoxic. Strong acids are avoided, reaction agents are recyclable, and the chemistry is non-oxidative and non-explosive.
Grafoid Global Technology Centre
Mesograf™ is the world’s first trademarked graphene and is produced by Grafoid at its state-of-the-art technology R&D facility, the Grafoid Global Technology Centre (GGTC) located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The world-class facility is the first of its kind in North America and also hosts production facilities, testing laboratories and some of Grafoid’s application developments via its joint-venture partnerships. At GGTC innovations in graphene applications are taken from concept, through development, engineering and prototype testing into production.
“The Grafoid Global Technology Centre will become a hub, unique in the world, for our joint-venture industrial and academic partners, and for industries to develop, engineer and adapt graphene and other advanced technologies into their production portfolios,” said Grafoid Co-Founder and CEO, Gary Economo.
Grafoid’s success with the development of Mesograf™ has allowed the company to launch a unique Global Platform of joint-venture partnerships for the development of a variety of next-generation graphene products. These partnerships include the sale of Mesograf™ to Grafoid’s joint-venture partners and royalties for the company on the sale of developed products.
Strategic Partnerships: Advancing Toward Commercialization
Green Energy Business Alliance
Promising to invent a new business approach for the green energy economy, Grafoid formalized its Green Energy Business Alliance, known as the 2GL Platform, with Focus Graphite, Stria Lithium Inc. and Braille Battery Inc. in May 2016. The collaborative agreement integrates graphene, graphite, lithium and battery innovation, creating a shared vision and direction for the development of materials, technologies and processes critical for next-generation energy applications.
The alliance incorporates a mine-to-market next generation energy production and storage supply chain. Grafoid will provide high-performing graphene, while Focus Graphite will supply battery-grade graphite. Stria Lithium will supply lithium metal and lithium foil, and Braille Battery will run battery production and sales. Research and development will be coordinated through Grafoid’s Kingston, Ontario-based Global Technology Center.
Extended Market Reach
Marking the beginning of a crucial turning point in Grafoid’s global technology enterprise platform expansion, the company signed a memorandum of understanding in March 2016 to enter a strategic joint venture partnership with Xiamen Tungsten Co. Ltd. The publicly traded company, listed on the Shanghai Exchange, is China’s largest producer and exporter of tungsten products. The agreement establishes terms for Xiamen’s acquisition of up to a 20-percent equity position in Grafoid through the purchase of common shares – including up to seven million Grafoid common shares currently held by Focus Graphite.
“This future alliance bodes well for Grafoid and Xiamen, our affiliates and our shareholders,” said Jeffrey York, Grafoid’s Chairman and Founding Partner. We feel very fortunate indeed to have taken our first expansionary step into China with a formidable and well-established technology materials producer.”
The parties have agreed to establish their joint venture in China for the production of Grafoid’s marketed suite of Mesograf™ and Amphioxide™ based products to be used in the development of commercial graphene applications for the Chinese market such as: GrafeneX™ coatings for glass, aluminum and other materials, solar energy creation, low-loss wiring cable, lithium-based batteries, ultra capacitors, fuel cells for the energy storage market and catalyst materials.
Grafoid has partnered with industry leaders worldwide to advance projects to market through joint ventures. Grafoid is engaged in 17 such joint-venture partnerships that include high-profile multinational corporations, institutions and government agencies.
“Our unique one-step process produces high-purity, low-cost graphene on a large scale,” stated Burtt. “No other company has come close to our trademarked Mesograf™—the suite of products we’ve developed to address graphene application needs across a broad spectrum of industries.”
Grafoid’s partnerships represent a diverse group of Mesograf™ applications
Graphene LFP Batteries: Fuel Cells, Automotive
Graphene Polymers and Plastics: Aerospace, Chemicals
Electrochemical Capacitors: Graphene Foils, Medical
3D Printing Materials: Thermal Management, Graphene Foam
Coatings and Lubricants: Organic LED Lighting, Solar Panels and Solar Cells
Mitsui & Co., Ltd.—Japanese Market
Through its partnership with Mitsui, Grafoid is functionalizing Mesograf™ for specific Japanese market applications. With Mitsui’s participation, Grafoid is in the process of completing a countrywide market study to determine the size potential of Mesograf™ sales in Japan.
Hydro-Québec—Canada’s largest electricity producer
Grafoid has partnered with Hydro-Québec’s research institute, IREQ, a global leader in the development of advanced battery materials used by some of the world’s most successful battery manufacturers and materials suppliers. Grafoid and IREQ have jointly developed a new composite material to produce next-generation quick-charge, longer-life Mesograf™ lithium-iron graphene batteries for the consumer electronics and electric vehicle markets. Patents have been filed.
Rutgers University—Combining graphene with polymers
Rutgers University’s Advanced Polymer Materials Center AMIPP is a globally recognized leader in the material sciences. Founded as a Research Excellence Center by the State of New Jersey and Rutgers University, the goal of AMIPP is to generate new technologies, materials and products for commercialization. Grafoid’s joint venture with AMIPP combines graphene with polymers to produce lighter, stronger plastics. Together, Rutgers and Grafoid are working to produce advanced graphene-plastic materials.
University of Waterloo—Fuel cells, energy storage and water treatment technology
Grafoid and the University of Waterloo, ranked one of Canada’s most innovative universities, are investigating graphene substitutions for graphite in fuel cells, supercapacitors and ultra capacitors; high-performance graphene electrochemical energy storage systems for the automotive and portable electronics sectors; as well as the use of Mesograf™ in wet or dry oil-spill recovery and water treatment, filtration and desalination projects. Patents have been filed.
Phos Solar Systems—Solar energy systems
Phos Solar Systems designs full-spectrum solar energy systems. Grafoid’s joint venture with Phos is developing thermal management solutions for standalone solar systems, integrating Mesograf™ in solar panels.
The European Union, Canada, the United States, China and South Korea are providing funding assistance to privately-held graphene enterprises.
In North America, both the US and Canadian governments acknowledge the long-term economic importance of supporting graphene R&D. Grafoid and its joint-venture partners are actively pursuing available federal grants and partnering initiatives with government agencies. Grafoid’s joint venture with Rutgers University has received $1.8 million from the US Office of Naval Research.
In February 2015, the Government of Canada contributed $8.1 million in grant funding through Sustainable Development Technology Canada towards an automated Mesograf™ production system.
“[The] $8.1 million federal government funding grant enables us to take a giant leap towards graphene’s broader commercialization,” commented Economo. “It will permit us to increase Mesograf™ production output from kilograms to tonnes within our global technology center in Kingston, Ontario.”
Jeffrey York—Chairman of the Board and Founding Partner
Jeffrey York is currently CEO of Farm Boy Inc., an Ontario-based food store chain known for its quality products and farm fresh produce. Farm Boy was named one of the best-managed companies in Canada in 2011. He also serves as Chairman of Focus Graphite Inc. A chartered accountant, York began his professional career with Ward Mallette, Chartered Accountants, before joining Giant Tiger Stores Ltd., a regional retail chain that grew under his leadership into a national, billion-dollar company. During his 20 years with Giant Tiger, he served as President and CEO of the company for 10 years. York is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization and has been involved in that executive network since 2002. As a founding partner and Chairman of the Board, he is actively involved in the shaping of the company’s business growth and development. York graduated from Princeton University in 1986 with a degree in Economics and obtained his Chartered Accountant designation in 1989.
Gary Economo—Chief Executive Officer, Director and Founding Partner
Gary Economo has a distinguished business leadership career, serving as CEO for a number of public and private high-technology companies during the last 20 years. Economo enjoys a long history of graphite marketing and sales for high-tech applications. He also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Focus Graphite Inc., a company he founded with Jeffrey York. Over the span of his business career, Economo provided strategic consulting and representation services to technology companies in North America and Asia. In particular, he has a track record of success and expertise in building shareholder value when tasked with bringing discovery companies to market. Born in Greece and raised in Montreal, Economo is trilingual and lives with his family in Ottawa.
Dr. Gordon Chiu, B.Sc., MSc, f-MSTP, ND—President, Chief Technology Officer, Director and Founding Partner
Described as an “execution-driven businessman,” Gordon Chiu has combined domestic and international experience in the biomedical, chemical, cosmetic, medical, and technology industries. As President, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Grafoid Inc., Chiu is engaged in the discovery and research of graphene on behalf of Grafoid, as well as the development of graphene applications with Grafoid’s joint venture application development partners. He is also Focus Graphite Inc.’s Chief Scientist. Chiu is a former research scientist at Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co., Inc. and has healthcare and marketing experience with strong links to Wall Street and Asia. He holds a B.Sc. degree summa cum laude in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, graduated with a M.Sc. degree in chemistry from Seton Hall University with honors, and is globally distinguished by his acceptance as an MD/PhD candidate under the National Institutes of Health’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Chiu jointly combined his cumulative training with a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree from the University of Bridgeport.
Judith Mazvihwa-MacLean—Chief Financial Officer
An Ottawa-based geologist and accountant, Judith Mazvihwa-MacLean has more than 16 years of experience in mineral exploration, mining, management, and corporate finance. She is also the Chief Financial Officer at Focus Graphite Inc. Prior to joining Focus Graphite, Mazvihwa-MacLean was the CFO for Golden Harp Resources Ltd., Logan Resources Ltd., and Acme Resources Ltd. (formerly, International KRL Resources Corp.) and also served as a member of the Board for both Logan Resources Ltd. and Acme Resources Ltd. Mazvihwa-MacLean has a significant academic background. She holds a B.Sc. (Geology) from the University of Zimbabwe, a M.Sc. from Brunel University in England and earned her MBA at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. She was accredited a Certified Management Accountant by the Certified Management Accountants Society of British Columbia.
Chester Burtt—Director of Communications and Government Affairs
Chester Burtt brings more than 30 years of sophisticated corporate and political communications-related experience to Grafoid. He is President of Chester Burtt & Associates Ltd. (“CBAL”), a corporate and public affairs advisory firm that specializes in connecting private and public companies with domestic and international opportunities. CBAL also arranges for the provision and supply of financial services in mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. Working through an international network and associate firms, CBAL has a 25-year history of offering a full range of services to assist companies with strategy development and decisions to best suit their investor and corporate relations. Burtt graduated with a B.A. (Honors) from Waterloo Lutheran University and an M.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University in Political Science. He also sits on the Board of Directors of Focus Graphite Inc.
Wayne Onello—Vice President of Operations
As a member of Grafoid’s management team, Wayne Onello brings many years of management and leadership experience. Prior to joining Grafoid in 2013, Onello spent more than 10 years with the United States Department of Homeland Security. In his role as Vice President of Operations, he is actively involved in Grafoid’s business development, mergers and acquisitions, and overseeing the production process within the company’s North American operations, which includes securing Grafoid’s proprietary technologies and access throughout the supply chain. Onello graduated from St. Peter’s University with a B.S. degree in Marketing and Economics.
Thomas H. Cruikshank—Strategic Advisor
Thomas H. Cruikshank served as Chief Executive Officer of the Halliburton Company from 1983 to 1995, where he also served as Halliburton’s President from 1983 to 1989 and Chairman from 1989 to 1995. Cruikshank joined Halliburton in 1969 and served as a Director from 1977 to 1996. Founded in 1919, Texas-based Halliburton is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry, with more than 75,000 employees, representing 140 nationalities in more than 80 countries. The Honorable Richard (Dick) B. Cheney — who later served as the 46th Vice-President of the United States of America — succeeded Cruikshank as Chief Executive Officer and subsequently, Chairman of Halliburton in October 1995. Cruikshank’s distinguished business career spans more than 50 years. Prior to joining Halliburton, he was a manager with the accounting firm Arthur Andersen & Co and, after serving his country as an officer in the United States Navy at the end of the Korean War, joined the international law firm Vinson & Elkins where he became a Partner. Cruikshank has served on the Board of Directors for a number of high-profile public companies, including The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, The Williams Companies, Inc., Seagull Energy Corporation, Central and South West Corporation, and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. His directorships also included the American Petroleum Institute and the Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association, as well as several nonprofit organizations, such as Junior Achievement, Up with People, Rice University and the California Institute of Technology. Cruikshank holds a degree in Business and Economics from Rice University and attended the University of Texas and the University of Houston law schools.
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