"Miracle Material" Market Explodes into a Bull Run
Posted by Brittany Stepniak - Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
Ladies and gentlemen, the graphite market is bigger than ever. Consequently, so is investor interest.
Back in July, Mining.com predicted that graphene would be the “world's next wonder material”and they were right on par.
Miners and investors alike are jumping on the opportunity to stock up as much of this rare material as possible...
Key economies like the U.S., China, and Europe view graphite as a “critical material” for the future of the industrial sector.
This intriguing little mineral is quite impressive: it comes in three forms (amorphous, flake and vein/lump) and is used in an array of developmental projects.
Green -- off-petroleum technologies in particular -- are largely responsible for the surging demand growth that has evolved into a full-fledged market bull run.
Editor Nick Hodge with Energy and Capital has been tracking graphene for quite some time as experts began predicting that the new "miracle material" would forever change the future of computer and other electronic devices.
But Mr. Hodge asserts that graphene won't merely revolutionize electronics...
He says that graphene will play a pivotal role in medicine, energy, and defense. Hodge reports that, already, "engineers at Northwestern University have a made a graphene electrode that allows lithium-ion batteries to store 10 times as much power and charge 10 times faster."
Imagine what those engineers will be capable of in the next ten years...
Meanwhile, it's important to note that China has historically maintained control over the world's graphite reserves, dominating 80% of the world's graphite market. However, China is capping rare earth as well as graphite extraction and exports which is driving up the costs to obtain those minerals dramatically.
That being said, a door has been opened for graphite mining operations in other parts of the globe – especially Canada – as most of the world's major economies perceive the mineral as being necessary for technological and industrial progression.
A former Wall Street broker, co-publisher of Morning Notes, and founder of Mountain Partners asset management company Chris Berry recently commented on the spectacular qualities associated with graphite. Berry says that graphite is “a key solution in solving the global dilemma of how to provide electrification to millions in the developing world, and as a critical metal for developing new battery and nuclear power technology.”
Here are a few key points from Mr. Berry regarding graphite's value presently as well as into the future:
- Graphite is different from gold, silver, copper, etc because users require a specific carbon purity level. “It’s security of supply that keeps you up at night,” says Berry.
- The US Geological Service estimates the graphite market to be 10 times the size of the market for rare earth elements. The graphite market is about the same size as the market for nickel. 60% of the market is amorphous graphite and 40% is flake graphite. Most of the growth is in flake graphite...
- Future uses of graphite could include vanadium-redox batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. Graphite could also potentially replace silicon in microchips and silver used in solar panels.
- China will require 400,000 tonnes of large flake graphite for Pebble Bed nuclear reactors and lithium-ion batteries will require 327,000 tonnes. The current supply of large flake graphite is 400,000t, so there will be a need to double the supply of large flake graphite used in batteries and nuclear reactors in the next eight years. ”The takeaway is if you buy into the electrification thesis, and I’m halfway right, demand should easily outstrip supply,” says Berry.
- By 2020 world consumption of graphite will be 1.9m tonnes, which does not include graphite needed for batteries, fuel cells and Pebble Bed nuclear reactors.
Unfortunately, our nation is unable to produce any graphite so we are completely dependent on imports in order to fuel our own surging demand. Our friendly neighbors to the north (Canadians) are more likely to want trade with us first, then Europe, and Asia lastly as it builds up its graphene clientèle.
To see what innovative future applications of graphene may look like, watch this video:+14
The End of Silicon and Invisible Missiles
By Nick Hodge
Friday, March 23rd, 2012
I've been tight-lipped for a while, but it's finally time to show you what the BBC calls a “Miracle Material.”
Its actual name is graphene, given by the two scientists who won a Nobel Prize for their discovering it.
And it's going to change the world...
“Graphene doesn't just have one application,” says Andre Geim, who made the find along with Konstantin Novoselov.
"It is not even one material. It is a huge range of materials. A good comparison would be to how plastics are used."
I'd say plastics is a conservative comparison.
Let me show you what hundreds of researchers, companies, and governments are already doing withthe strongest, thinnest, most conductive material ever discovered.
The BBC says: “It could spell the end for silicon and change the future of computers and other devices forever.”
The Daily Mail says: “A graphene credit card could store as much information as today’s computers,” and that “graphene will lead to gadgets that make the iPhone and Kindle seem like toys from the age of steam trains.”
But it won't just revolutionize electronics...
Graphene is also being used for energy, defense, and medicine applications.
Engineers at Northwestern University have a made a graphene electrode that allows lithium-ion batteries to store 10 times as much power and charge 10 times faster.
MIT Engineering Professor Jeffrey Grossman believes solar cells made from graphene could produce 10,000 times more energy from a given amount of carbon than fossil fuels.
And CNBC reports it could expand the current domestic oil boom because “tiny sensors coated with the wonder-material graphene and powered by flowing water could expedite the discovery of oil and natural gas reserves.”
It may sound too good to be true, but I assure you it isn't.
Take it from co-Nobel recipient Konstantin Novoselov:
I don’t think it has been over-hyped. It has attracted a lot of attention because it is so simple — it is the thinnest possible matter — and yet it has so many unique properties. There are hundreds of properties which are unique or superior to other materials. Because it is only one atom thick it is quite transparent — not many materials that can conduct electricity which are transparent.
And speaking of transparent, scientists at the University of Texas, Dallas have made a graphene invisibility cloak by heating up a sheet of the material with electrical stimulation.
The Israeli Army is even using the material to make invisible missiles.
Again, this isn't science fiction; this is happening right now.
Novoselov says, “It’s a big claim, but it’s not bold. That’s exactly why there are so many researchers working on it.”
So many, indeed. Over 200 companies are pursuing graphene opportunities, and it's been the subject of thousands of peer-reviewed research papers.
But what you might not know is how the material is made — and how you can join this latest wave of innovation.
That's why I put together the “Miracle Material” seminar I've been telling you about for the past few weeks.
If you didn't get a chance to watch the premiere last night, click here to watch the seminar now.
You'll see real footage of many of the things I've just described to you, including bendable phones and the invisibility cloak.
Plus I reveal the best way I see to play the coming wave of graphene-enhanced technologies.
Call it like you see it,
Nick is an editor of Energy & Capital and the Investment Director of the thousands-strong stock advisory, Early Advantage. Co-author of the best-selling book Investing in Renewable Energy: Making Money on Green Chip Stocks, his insights have been shared on news programs and in magazines and newspapers around the world. For more on Nick, take a look at his editor's page.