How concerned should we be about graphene's toxicity?

The potential toxicity of graphene and graphene oxide has been on people's minds lately. This is an area that has always received some attention, but recently there have been rumors and wild speculations about the adoption of graphene oxide and the risks involved.

Grapene toxicity poll results (August 2021)

Researchers have been studying the toxicity of graphene and graphene oxide for many years. While these materials have not yet been established as completely safe for use, there are quite a few research results that indicate that graphene can be relatively safe under the appropriate conditions.

Calling out to graphene product developers - share your story!

After years of intensive R&D efforts, and a slow trickle of graphene devices, we are finally starting to see wider adoption of graphene in many applications. Graphene-enhanced products are entering many markets, including wearables, sensors, audio equipment, medical devices, sports equipment, construction materials and more.

Graphene application types

But using graphene is still a challenge, as adopting the material in the right way in your process is not trivial. In addition, there are many graphene types, each with its own properties, and dozens of different graphene producers (link to the graphene catalog?) each with its own material. Choosing the right material is critical to a graphene project success. Finally, as with many material technologies, these kinds of projects take time and effort to achieve the right results.

Graphene-enhanced concrete: recent developments

Graphene seems like a natural fit for the construction field, due to its potential for creating materials that are lighter and more durable. The potential is huge: concrete and asphalt, steel, various paints and much more.

Versarien uses graphene-enhanced concrete in a residential setting image

Focusing on concrete, advantages found by researchers are many. It was found that graphene can increase the resistance and impermeability of the material, lower the number of other materials required so that the result is more environmentally friendly and sustainable material, and give the entire material longer life spans.

Are graphene batteries finally getting closer to commercialization?

Batteries have always been a highly sought-after application for graphene materials, bearing promises of expanded capacity, ultra-fast charging, improved safety of use and more.

Graphene battery advantages imageThe advantages of graphene batteries

Early testing in labs and research institutes were very promising, but the move from lab to market proved more challenging than people expected. Even today, in 2021, graphene batteries aren't on the market yet, in any major way.

We do see, however, some niche adoption - for example, the use of graphene to enable novel battery casings, or extending the battery's temperature range (see Huawei's 2016 graphene battery announcement for example). But actual graphene-enhanced battery anodes or other components haven't been realized yet.

Public graphene companies reach almost $2 billion in market value

The graphene industry seems to be flourishing, at least when looking at the valuations of public companies. As we reported earlier this year, graphene stocks have risen nicely towards the end of 2020, and the trend continues in 2021 for most companies.

Graphene companies market cap (July 2021)

The total market value of graphene companies now reaches $1.8 billion USD for the 13 leading graphene public companies we track. It is important to note that not all this value is directly related to graphene - some of the companies have other activities, mainly graphite mining and supply. But for all these companies, graphene is a major part of the business, and most of the companies are pure-play graphene companies.