Graphene saw huge uptake in 2018, and the graphene outlook shows it is becoming a revolutionary material for investors as well consumers.
While graphene as a material has often tipped to be a new revolutionary technology over the last several years, the material has never had quite the momentum like it did in 2018. However, it remains to be seen whether graphene can hold the same uptake in 2019 and beyond.
Despite the initial promises, graphene’s momentum was always hindered due to many reasons including the lack of mass production. In 2018, companies involved in the space made major pushes towards the high volume production of graphene while certain companies took orders for large deliveries of graphene for 2019 onwards.
As we head into 2019, the Investing News Network (INN) is taking a look back at some of the biggest trends in the space in 2018 and things to look forward in the year ahead.
Graphene trends 2018: Shift to mainstream
A Research and Markets report from November noted that there was a total of 13,371 patent filings related to graphene at the end of 2017. The firm noted that the patent filings marked a 30.7 percent increase as compared to 2016 and represented a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 60.9 percent between 2010 and 2017.
Further, Research and Markets noted that the industry is making steady steps as it reached a market value of US$200 million in 2018. It was said that the global market size was approximately US$85 million in 2017, which represents an 84.8 percent year-over-year growth thanks to graphene’s use in many industries.
Over the course of 2018, companies involved in the space made the push for graphene into the mainstream market.
First Graphene (ASX:FGR), which received a large commercial order for its PureGraph products in November, was in the news all year long with the company testing out graphene in various industries and as a nanofluid coolant.
In July, the company announced that it will supply graphene to FlexeGraph to test its suitability for use in electrified systems as batteries and high-performance testing. The company said that graphene represented a major breakthrough in 90 years with the coolant product produced out of this technology representing a 60 percent improvement as compared to traditional forms of cooling.
In October, First Graphene announced that it made an impact in the mining industry as it claimed the use of graphene in high volume mining applications extended the wear-life of mining equipment.
Meanwhile, Directa Plus (LSE:DCTA), a company that produces graphene-based products, said in October that it sold 500,000 euros’ worth of its graphene-based textiles. The company said that graphene based textile products have several benefits, including increased heat dissipation and reduced odour.
In late October, the company announced that it had launched world’s first graphene enhanced jeans and jackets while also signing an agreement with Arvind to develop graphene products for sale in India.
The company was one of the recipients of the Niche Vehicle Network grant that was provided for research on graphene’s potential in the automotive sector along with Briggs Automotive Company and Pentaxia Composites.
Graphene outlook 2019: Use in more applications
The South Korean multinational company has been working on graphene-based products for a number of years; in November 2017, Samsung announced that its researchers at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology developed a “graphene ball.”
Samsung said that the product was a unique battery material which featured a 45 percent increase in capacity and five times faster charging speeds than standard lithium-ion batteries that is currently used in phones.
Talga Resources (ASX:TLG) is another company which is working on a graphene-based battery. In October 2018, the company announced that it had positive test results from its graphene silicon lithium-ion battery silicon anode.
The company said that the test results showed that the graphene-based battery had a 50 percent higher reversibile capacity than a commercial graphite battery, which translates to extended battery life for portable and electric vehicle markets.
“We are excited to see further success as we progress development of our next generation of battery products,” Mark Thompson, managing director of Talga, said in the October release. “We are pleased to be at the forefront of developing a Li-ion anode product that has a fast growing future, and uses both our emerging supplies of graphene and graphite.”
Amongst the numerous applications of graphene, the battery market is projected to bring graphene into the mainstream market.
Research and Markets has projected that the graphene battery market is projected to grow to US$70.4 million by 2023 from US$28.86 million in 2017, growing at a CAGR of 16.04 percent. The firm lists several advantages of the product, which includes durability, higher capacity storage and the ability to charge at short intervals as compared to other batteries.
It was noted that the accelerating global sales of electric cars and other electronic devices as growth drivers of the graphene battery market.
Graphene, however, has already made its entry into phones as Huawei announced in October that its Mate 20 X smartphone would feature graphene film for better heat management.
“With the cooling system in place, the CPU and GPU embedded in [Huawei] Mate 20 X can remain at full throttle for an extended period of time and deliver the smoothest and most satisfying gaming experience to consumers,” the company said.
It remains to be seen how the phone is operating under everyday use and, with the first mover advantage, Huawei has the potential to launch the technology on other products including tablets and laptops. The company, like its rival Samsung, has been doing research on graphene for few years and was rumored to launch a phone with a graphene enhanced battery.
Graphene outlook 2019: Future growth
With graphene finding its use in more applications and with mass production now a reality, its market size is expected to surpass US$1 billion in 2023.
China is set to be a dominant player as the country already has a 22.1 percent share in the global market as of 2017 which reached US$18 million, representing a 69.3 percent growth compared to 2016. It is said that the market value of graphene will reach US$145 billion in 2023.
In a separate report, Research and Markets said that the graphene market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40 percent between 2018 to 2026. The firm said that the rising demand for printed electronics would be one of the driving force for the sector.
Meanwhile, Market Research Future predicts that the global graphene market will witness a 43 percent CAGR between 2016 and 2023. The firm said that graphene would have a market value of US$811 million by 2023 with the material finding its use in a host of applications including aerospace, energy and automotive sectors.
Grand View Research in its report published in January 2019 said that the market size of graphene would be US$552.3 million by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 38 percent. The firm said that the electronic application of graphene would be a major contributor for this particular segment witnessing a CAGR of 38 percent in terms of revenue.
Graphene outlook 2019: Investor takeaway
While research firms have given different estimates on the future market value of graphene, it is certain that the material will find its way into the mainstream market. One of the major hurdles of graphene was mass production, which companies seem to have overcome in 2018.
In short, graphene is on its path of becoming a revolutionary material for investors as well consumers.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Technology or real time updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Bala Yogesh, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.