Is Graphite an investment play on Graphene?
There have been several companies that are positioning themselves as suppliers of "pure" or high grade graphite as the source material for quality graphene.
However, with the different paths to the production of graphene (CVD for example) and continuous roll production methods, are graphite miners really a serious commercial source for graphene in the future?
Here is what one Graphene Council member had to say:
"Put it this way. Would you invest money in say a kilo of a particular grade of graphene, assuming it didn't degrade?
No, you wouldn't, since the process technology across an array of production methods (as mentioned some not even using graphite) is constantly improving, causing a continuous reduction in price.
Not only that, but the relative value of graphite is orders of magnitude less than graphene, which has relatively low global demand right now. By the time graphene demand hits industrial levels, there's a good chance methods of making it that do not require graphite are cost effective enough to render the feedstock obsolete.
Basically, if graphite is the long term commercial source material for graphene, we would see graphite prices increase as global demand in graphene increased. Couple this with graphene prices constantly coming down, the ratio of graphite cost to graphene will constantly increase.
Eventually graphite will be obsolete as it just won't be able to compete with other methods of making graphene. It's same reason there is considerable research being done to produce petrochemicals from renewable feedstocks, rather than crude oil, which is finite and expensive. The difference here is that crude oil still has enormous utility and demand as a chemical used to produce hydrocarbon fuel. Graphite has relatively limited utility in comparison."
We agree with Joe.
All it takes is a minimal review of the current level of standards that apply to Graphene (there no consistently applied or agreed terms or measures of quality, characteristics or quantities at this time), and you realize that anyone trying to play in this unregulated market is buying in the blind.
One of the reasons that The Graphene Council has joined in the globally recognized ISO / ANSI / IEC standards
organizations is to help define peer reviewed and agreed standard nomenclature, measurements and definitions of characteristics to help bring transparency for all stakeholders; buyers, developers, researchers, producers of graphene and investors.