Graphene tubes

The largest coking coal producer in the European Union, Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa, also deals with graphene technologies. However, it does not cooperate with Polish scientists, but with the Swiss AGT Management & Engineering and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. JSW aims to produce carbon nanotubes, i.e. graphene packaged in cylinders, which improve the properties of materials. The aim is to build a factory in Poland and start pilot and subsequent industrial production of these modern materials. The raw material used is methane from JSW mines.

“We expect to gain a production cost advantage that will allow us to win with the largest producers,” said Daniel Ozon, President of JSW, at the presentation of the project.

But first we need to do research. The first step will be to build a reactor at a Scottish university and confirm whether the technology offered by AGT can be used industrially. The entire project will cost approximately PLN 30 million.

First successes

Scientists themselves admit that the wider use of graphene in industry is still at least a few years away. They call on the government to grant additional subsidies to help companies finance the costly work of using this material. It is estimated that the value of the global graphene market will rise from $200 million today to $1 billion in 2023.

It is the thinnest material consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms. It is stronger than steel, flexible, transparent and conducts energy perfectly. It can be used in electronics, plastics, batteries and flexible displays for smartphones. New products with the addition of supermaterial come onto the market. In 2018, the British brand inov-8 began selling shoes with graphene reinforced soles. In the same year, British Vollebak launched its first graphene jackets. All of them are already sold out. The Swedish company Applied Nano Surfaces introduced friction-resistant graphene aerosol coatings thanks to government support.

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