(Laura Syrett/Industrial Minerals) The first trademarked graphene product, MesoGraf, will be officially launched on Thursday by Canadian mining and technology firm Focus Graphite Inc., the company has exclusively revealed to IM. MesoGraf, a branded graphene technology which could bridge the gap between the material’s science and commercialisation, will be launched at the New Diamond and Nanocarbons Conference in Singapore by Focus CEO, Gary Economo.
Economo will outline the vertically integrated business model that has led to the production of MesoGraf, which is based on a one-step method of exfoliating natural graphite ore.
“MesoGraf is the first trademarked [graphene] product in the market,” Economo told IM ahead of the launch. “This is the long-awaited industry standard — MesoGraf will be to graphene what Google is to internet searches.”
The company said that the high-purity graphene product has been co-developed by Focus and its partners, the technology firms Grafoid Inc. and Graphite Zero Pte, at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Economo revealed that the science was developed secretly in NUS’ $100M Graphene Centre laboratory, and marks the 108-year old NUS’ first commercial graphene venture.
Dr. Gordon Chiu, co-founder of Grafoid, and who has been working to develop MesoGraf alongside NUS’ professor Loh Kian Ping, explained that MesoGraf is a stable intermediate product derived from raw graphite ore that can easily be transformedinto graphene.
“The NUS has been working on graphene for many years, but the material they produced wasn’t scaleable,” Chiu told IM.
“When we joined the NUS team with our raw ore process, in record time we managed to isolate a material that can be transformed more or less instantly into graphene,” Chiu said.
According to Economo, the four-footed business platform behind MesoGraf offers a direct, fast and cheap way to
commercialise graphene on a global scale, and catapults the enterprise ahead of any graphene development venture in Asia, the U.S. or Europe.
“We can’t (publicly state) any pricing at this time,” Economo said, but confirmed that the venture has already received orders for MesoGraf from a number of large companies, including battery businesses, a chemical firm and a large utility company.
Hard rock to MesoGraf
Both Chiu and Economo stressed that having a global standard for economically scalable graphene has long been recognized as central to establishing the nano-carbon as a marketable technology.
“We believed that by accomplishing two things – by investing in a process of producing graphene cost-effectively and by setting a global standard – the doors to industrial scale adaptation would open to us,” Chiu said.
“MesoGraf has achieved this, and it is the game-changer,” he added.
An agnostic process
Grafoid and Graphite Zero have worked together to transform natural graphite ore from Focus’
Lac Knife deposit in Quebec, Canada, into MesoGraf using a one-step, non-destructive and environmentally sustainable process based on chemical exfoliation.
Crucially, however, although the process was developed using Lac Knife’s ore as a source material, Economo says that the transformation process is agnostic. “It will work with any concentrated graphite ore with a grade higher than 10%, so supply is not an issue,” he said.
Economo added that the existence of MesoGraf provides opportunities to enhance material structures and improve
energy solutions by way of an economically scalable suite of graphene products that can be tailored to both industrial and commercial applications.
“From here, we will engineer various forms of MesoGraf for specific applications and we will build two more manufacturing facilities to service the expected demand,” he added.