Graphene price on today’s market - what does affect it?

In the today’s continuously expanding market of nanomaterials, the graphene price represents a concern of all stakeholders involved in this relatively new sector of the economy (of course, it is because the price has quickly escalated!). The current situation of the graphene in the market is limited by the fact that the prevailing production technologies have not been developed for mass production, and are still extremely expensive (as far as production costs are concerned).

As of the end of 2015, the price of graphene was around USD 100 per gram. It can also be connected with almost non-existing progress in the production methods and optimisation of processes involved in it.

Graphene prices are driven by the increase in investment in the research and development of graphene and other materials

In recent decades, there has been a very considerable increase in investments in research and development (R&D) provided by a variety of educational institutions all over the world. This goes together with privately funded quest for patents and development from companies interested in incorporating this material as a competitive advantage, MST nano being one notable example.

Eventually, this trend will probably lead to the price reduction until it drops below the price of silicon or other more traditional materials. This assumption can be realised only if innovations in the production processes are optimised enough, and the market demand for its wide range of applications maintains. Click here to read about the role of graphene in the future of fast computer chips.

Graphene, as mentioned before, is used in a wide range of applications such as radio frequency identification (RFID) composites, sensors, energy storage, functional ink, and polymer additives. The industry is just in its very initial phase of the market commercialisation. This statement can be corroborated by the fact that in 2014, 75% of the graphene in the market was used in R&D and prototype preparation funded by universities and private companies.

Graphene used in the energy sector

Many R&D companies are involved in the application of graphene in the energy storage sector, which is expected to be the fastest growing segment of the market. It shows a Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 90%; and the estimations extended to 2021 mention increase up to 47% of the total production capacity.

Graphene electrodes are becoming standard practice in energy storage devices, like electromagnetic super-capacitors (which is a type of battery that stores sufficient amount of energy per unit of volume and is also rechargeable) and other types of batteries such as Li-ion, Li-air, lead acid and fuel cells. The real beauty of its application in this field is that due to its high electrical conductivity it optimises the energy density per unit or volume/mass and the speed of the charge.

Global investment in the nanomaterials market

Given the nature of the nanomaterials market, it has been naturally segmented into different regions that lead the production as well as the R&D investment such as Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. Around 2015, the North America was the largest revenue generator, and it is expected that this trend shall continue at least until 2021. Specifically, in the US, three-fourths of the produced graphene is used for research and development activities.

However, it is important to note the growing presence of the Asia-Pacific market and how it is expected to be the fastest growing segment of the market. This fact is caused by a series of driving factors of the Asia-Pacific region including the presence of extensive graphite mines in China, as well as ongoing graphene research conducted in India, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. This trend is also highly supported by the intensive focus in electronics application in this particular region.
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