Graphene is a super-material that has an enormous potential in many areas, shares Bright Day Graphene’s CEO Malin Alpsten.
— It is a 2D material, meaning that it is only 1 atom thick, she says. This gives us a very large surface and no bulk, which is important for instance in energy storage applications. Graphene also conducts power without resistance, is 200 times stronger than steel, and is transparent and flexible. Those are all features that make it interesting in almost all areas of the industry.
Alpsten founded the company in 2017 together with Anna Carlsson.
— Humanity, she says, is facing a lot of challenges at the moment. We need to change our ways to preserve the resources of our earth for the future. A lot of initiatives are being made to do this, but many things are only addressing one aspect of the problem. Take the electrification of cars for instance; it might be good for the climate to drive a battery car, but the batteries use rare earth metals that are dangerous to mine and that are a finite resource. They are also toxic to the environment if they are not recycled properly. So by solving one problem, we are creating new ones. It was out of this frustration that our company was born. We wanted to provide sustainable materials to help the industry to do right from the beginning. Our goal is that our products should be sustainable in all steps of their life cycle and in all ways. They should be made from renewable raw materials, without toxic chemicals, and with no greenhouse gas emissions.
What makes your graphene special?
— Most of all because it is made from a residual product from the pulp and paper industry. This means that it comes from a renewable source. Most graphene on the market today is made from graphite, which is a finite resource that needs to be mined. But our graphene is also special because it has features the mass-produced graphene on the market does not have. Just like other producers, we make a powder, but our flakes are much larger and much thinner. This makes our graphene more transparent, with higher electrical and thermal conductivity, and with a larger specific surface.
Bright Day Graphene currently has a patent pending for their process, producing their graphene on a small scale in their lab in Kista outside of Stockholm.
— All the material that we produce at the moment, goes into the customer projects we are running, says Alpsten. We are looking at anti-fouling surfaces with Alfa Laval, packaging barriers with OptiPack, sensors with Klabin, and another project on energy storage. We will be able to sell some samples as well, but there will not be very many this year.
What’s the next step for you?
— At the moment we are planning for an industrial pilot and seeking investments for that in a new investment round that will close in June. We are growing quickly and are always looking for talented people to join our mission as well as customers wanting to try our green graphene in their products.