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Green and straightforward process for the synthesis of Graphene-based nanomaterials.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - GRAPHEEN (Green and straightforward process for the synthesis of Graphene-based nanomaterials.)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2018-11-30

Energy storage systems (ESS) such as lithium ion batteries (LIBs) and electrochemical capacitors (EC) are commercial devices widely used to power all kind of commodity and industrial goods. However, these devices have a limited capacity of storage, and the main reason for this limitation lies on the active material that is generally activated carbon.

The amount of energy that is being consumed worldwide grows yearly and projections indicate that this trend will continue exponentially. Moreover, due to the climate change, we need to develop ways to store the energy produced by renewable sources in a more efficient way. It is worldwide accepted that there is an urgent need to produce more powerful and cost-efficient ESS to ease the technological evolutions to come.

Graphene is called to lead a technological revolution due to its extraordinary physical properties. Due to its very large theoretical surface area, electrical conductivity and chemical stability, graphene is the most promising active material to improve the performance of ESS. As a matter of fact, for the last 15 years, scientists and technologists have done a great effort to incorporate graphene in commercial devices. However, graphene is finding a hard time to fit into commercial applications as it tends to restack, losing its large surface area and volumetric capacitance.

So far, graphene/metal oxide (MO) hybrid nanomaterials (NMs) have revealed as the best option to overcome this problem. These hybrid structures show a synergistic effect between both phases, taking advantage of the electrical double layer capacitance of graphene and the faradaic surface reactions of the MO. Additionally, the re-stacking of each of the phases is hindered by the other, exposing more surface area available for the storage mechanism.

The objectives of the project are:
-To develop a portfolio of NMs specifically optimized to be used as active material in EES. These NMs will be fully tested in relevant environments.
-To demonstrate the scalability of our proposal by building a pilot plant able to produce 50 Kg/year of NMs under a quality control plan and projected costs below 30 €/Kg.
-To carry out a visibility and commercial plan to start selling our products before the endo of the project.
-To join with a key player of the chemistry sector to produce our NMs in an industrial scale in the midterm.

In contrast to the objectives initially established, the conclusions of this project are the following:
-A number of graphene/metal oxide nanomaterials have been developed and tested as electrode materials for energy storage devices. The nanomaterials developed within this project showed specific capacitance values well above the market references.
-The scalability of the developed nanomaterials at industrial scale has been demonstrated with our tailor-made cost analysis tool.
-Agreements with important players of the chemical industry have been reached. Our nanomaterials will be produced in an industrial scale within the next 2 years.
During the second reporting period, the most relevant output in both technical and commercial ways, can be outlined as follows:

WP1-It was completed in the first period; however, we have continued to work on the optimization of our nanomaterials in order to improve their electrochemical performance.

WP2-The installation of the plant and initial operation were undertaken ahead on schedule (period 1). In this period, we have completed the installation and corrected construction minor deviations. The cost analysis tool has been fully developed and used to analyze the production at industrial scale.

WP3-The pilot plant has been used to produce nanomaterials at preindustrial scale. The products showed good electrochemical properties, such as at lab scale. The supply chain has been secured and a quality control process has been implemented, from the design of the products to the packaging.

WP4-Constant competitive intelligence work: scientific, technological, commercial and legislative watch, plus IP management. During this period, a patent has been granted, it is expected to commercially exploit this patent soon.

WP5-Development of a communication plan and commercialization plan: dissemination activities, assistance to key events, networking and strategic alliances building.

Gnanomat agreed and signed a new strategic partnership with the graphene industrial manufacturer Versarien. This agreement significantly strengthens its ambitious growth plans and will boost nanomaterial portfolio development to reach the energy storage industrial market.

Also, an agreement with the device manufacturer ZapGo was signed to improve electrode material of their energy storage devices. If the project is successful it could be the first step for a nanomaterial supply agreement.


List of activities and events during the period:

EVENTS AND CONFERENCES/COUNTRY/CITY/DATE

Advanced Automotive Battery Conf/Germany/Mainz/30th-31st January

NanoTech Expo 2018/Japan/Tokio/14th-16th Febr

Imagine Nano/Spain/Bilbao/13th-15th March

IDTechEx Europe 2018/Germany/Berlin/11th-12th April

Electrical Energy Storage Europe/Germany/Munich/20th-22nd June

IDTechEx USA 2018/USA/Santa Clara/15th-16th November

Electronica 2018/Gremany/Múnich/13th November


WP6-Proper administrative, legal and financial management of the project. Progress monitoring and risk mitigation.

The project was run with the support of IP experts that supported avery situation related with the intellectual assets generated. Moreover, the project tasks has been duely review with legal and financial experts that assured the optimal development of GRAPHEEN.
Scientific/technological advancements: a novel methodology to obtain nanomaterials for energy storage has been developed and a patent has been granted. This methodology represents a relatively simple, scalable and cost-effective way to produce nanomaterials. Pre-industrial scale batches of nanomaterials have been prepared in the pilot plant with good results of scalability from lab to pre-industrial scale. The production of these nanomaterials will allow Gnanomat to increase its commercial activity, multiplying its revenues annually.
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