The latest thing to put a smile on the face of canny investors is the growth of the nascent graphene industry. Still very much in its infancy the world production of graphene, and its application in numerous other industries, is soon to take off. Investing in graphene early could, therefore, be a very wise financial decision.
The graphene industry is only just getting started, and with every new industry there always remains some doubt as to how it will fare. However, as anyone that has been following this story will know, there are a few things about this miracle material that make it an entirely different proposition.
For instance, graphene holds more records in the world of physics than any other; it is the strongest material known to man and also the most conductive; it is thought it will revolutionize the solar panel industry and is likely to be incorporated into countless products as a composite.
Graphene is made by two main production methods, each of which produces a slightly different variety of graphene. Nanoplatelet graphene, from exfoliation, can be used in super-efficient battery manufacture, while graphene films, made from chemical vapour deposition, can be used to make super-tough flexible electronics.
What does all this mean for the investor? Well, as a recent report by Lux Research projected, the graphene industry is set to grow from a base size of $9 million in early 2012 to a phenomenal $126 million in 2020. That’s an incredible 40% annual growth.
And Lux Research’s estimates are conservative. Another strategic analysis of the graphene industry by Technavio places the rate of growth closer to 50% year on year.
Importantly for investors this growth has been identified as occurring initially in the nanoplatelet market, so composites and energy storage, along with exfoliation production methods, are the areas investors should be focused on. Graphene films are currently too difficult to make on a large scale basis, and therefore graphene screens remain just beyond the horizon.
For any investor interested in the industry I would suggest they take an initial look at a company called Grafoid. They are jointly owned by a Canadian mining company and have immediate access to the superior grade graphite required for exfoliation. The company is highly regarded and poised to capitalize on the interest that graphene is generating.
Similarly, two companies, Aixtron and CVD Equipment Corporation, are well positioned for growth arising from the technical challenge of producing graphene films. Both have good track records in the nanotechnology industry and are expected to grow in the coming years.
With some scientific commentators suggesting that graphene will change the world in ways similar to that last experienced with the invention of the lightbulb, and with market experts expecting the industry to emulate the growth seen in the computer industry and the internet, there seem to be few reasons not to act on the latest analysis.
As always, I would advise any potential investor to do their own research. Fortunately for them there are a couple of websites already focused on this subject and these will be able to provide greater insight and background detail that I just can’t go into here. Balance your research across a number of sources and base any decision on all available evidence.
In the first instance, I would recommend any investor visit here. Invest wisely, and good luck.