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Sundsvall 2020-07-10


SPRING 2020 – AN EVENTFUL SIX MONTH PERIOD

CHRONICLE

New production plant, new employees and several successful collaborations. A lot has happened for 2D fab lately, and before we take a short summer break, I want to summarize what we as a company have achieved over the past six months – and what we aim for in the future.

The first half of 2020 has been overwhelming, to say the least. The global pandemic has affected us all. But despite the outbreak of covid-19, everyday life has had to continue – albeit in a different way than before – and a lot has happed with 2D fab during this time. We began 2020 by strengthening the team with two very talented women – Kajsa, our new Production Manager, and Britta, who is working with product development within the electrode sector. We have also welcomed several new owners through our latest share issue and a very competent new Board of Directors which has a solid and fit-for-purpose experience.

For the past years we have been exploring the possible markets for graphene. During this time, we have picked out four primary application areas where we believe our graphene has the biggest potential. These application areas are batteries, polymers, thermal conductivity and special chemistry, and we have had interesting and rewarding projects all of them. One of our latest projects was with Kemind Srl, an Italian company developing new glue concepts for corrugators. By adding our graphene to the formula, the company has managed to increase production efficiency, reduce costs and improve quality for various corrugated board products. Our ongoing collaboration with Kemind shows us yet again just how extraordinary of a material graphene is, and a significant expansion of their new glue concepts is projected in the near future.

Graphene is still classified as a “new” material, and one of the most fascinating things about new materials, in my opinion, is that they have potential to greatly impact the future. One of the most pressing issues of our time is climate change, and in order to reach the goal of a fossil-free society batteries and supercapacitors need to become more sustainable. Lately, we have given batteries more and more attention at 2D fab. One example is that we are part of a research project aiming to develop large scale production of new electrical energy storage systems. Another example is that we are collaborating with a listed company to develop and commercialize paper-based battery anodes.

Beside climate change, healthcare has been a hot topic of conversion this spring due to prevailing circumstances, and it seems like graphene has a place in medicine as well. Graphene Flagship is investigating how graphene can help tackle the effects of covid-19. 2D fab is currently partnering up in a project set out to develop an antibacterial surface for medical devices. The technology has potential to minimize the damage caused by health-related infections that cause millions of patients a great deal of suffering every year.

Antibacterial surfaces, batteries and glue concepts – just some of our latest endeavors – say a lot about graphene and its enormous potential and wide usage. And as the graphene market continues to grow and the demand increases, we have seen a need to scale up our production capacity. This bring me to one of our biggest achievements this year – the launching of our new production facility. The new plant gives us the opportunity to deliver larger quantities of graphene to our customer, a major step towards 2D fab becoming a serious player on the global graphene market.

To sum things up, a lot has happened so far in 2020, both globally and for us as a company. I would like to thank all of our dedicated employees, without whom 2D fab would not be where it is today. But now it is time for a short summer break. We will be back again in August, well rested and ready to continue working towards our goal of becoming a major graphene manufacturer. Until then, stay safe, follow your country’s restrictions and have a very happy summer!

Sven Forsberg,
CEO


Sundsvall 2020-06-25


2D FAB LAUNCHES INDUSTRIAL-SIZE PRODUCTION PLANT


We are happy to announce that our new production plant is up and running! Apart from increased production capacity, the new plant is more energy efficient and enables a consistent graphene quality. With the new plant, 2D fab provides a crucial function in the growing graphene industry.

For the past years 2D fab has detected an increased demand for graphene. To meet the needs from customers and partners, a decision to expand the production capacity was made. Now, a year and a half later, we can proudly present our brand new, industrial-size production plant.

– The new plant increases 2D fab’s production capacity to ten tons graphene per year, an amount that gives us the opportunity to partner up with large corporations in the application areas where our graphene can make a huge difference, for example within plastic and battery development, says Roland Bäck, Process Developer at 2D fab.

The advantages of the new factory are many. Benefits include a higher degree of automation and improved work environment. The production plant is also more cost-effective, increases the energy efficiency of the process, and enables a more consistent and predictable graphene quality. The latter letting the company, to greater extent than before, provide customers with custom made graphene. Being able to do this is – together with the company’s green production processes – what makes 2D fab so unique within the graphene manufacturing field.

– 2D fab’s production process is hydromechanical, i.e. water based, and no harmful chemicals are being used. The company’s emission level is close to zero, and all semi-finished material will be re-circulated. The process is also very energy efficient – studies show that it uses less than one percent of the energy consumption compared to other comparable processes – thus very environmentally friendly, says Kajsa Lake, Production Manager at 2D fab.

Scaling up the green process and elevating it to ten tons a year is a big step right now, but in the long run merely the beginning. We are already in the process of hiring more staff.

– In order for graphene to reach the market in end user products, we need to be able to provide graphene on an industrial scale for a relevant cost. The new plant and our production process give us the rare ability to quickly scale up the manufacturing at any given moment, which is one of our greatest assets in the long run. Our goal is to be a world leading producer of graphene, and the commissioning of our new production plant is a giant leap in that direction, says Sven Forsberg, CEO at 2D fab.


Sundsvall 2020-05-29


"GRAPHENE WILL PLAY THE KEY PART IN FUTURE ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS"


Hello Anna! Could you tell us about yourself and your background?

– Sure! My name is Anna and I am a twenty-six-year-old student. I grew up in Hudiksvall, but I have spent the past three years in Stockholm studying Chemical Engineering at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. This semester I am doing my bachelor thesis at 2D fab, which so far has been both challenging and fun!

Please elaborate, what is your bachelor thesis about?

– I’m researching a production process for silicon-nanographite based anodes in lithium ion batteries. Today, graphite is the primary material used in anodes for lithium ion batteries, but lately researchers have been looking at exchanging the energy carrier from graphite to silicon, since it can store much more energy. Unfortunately, a method that allows a large-scale production has been hard to come up with. But during fall 2019 researchers from Mid Sweden University published an article on a scalable process for nanomaterial-based anodes, where silicon nanoparticles were grown on graphene flakes. What I do is to investigate the production process that they used. The questions I seek answers to are “can this process be recreated?” and if so, “what parameters can be regulated to improve results and/or simplify the process?”

In your opinion, what is the best-case scenario for graphene enhanced batteries?

– One of the best-case scenarios is that they will contribute to a more sustainable society. As we transition from fossil energy to greener alternatives, the need for large-scale energy storage systems increases. Most of the electricity we get from solar cells and wind power can only be used right away. Since we cannot control the weather, we need equipment that can store the energy so that we can use it as we please. In the best of worlds, graphene will play the key part in future energy storage systems, that will let us do just that.

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Sundsvall 2020-05-13


NEW RESEARCH PROJECT FOCUSING ON GREEN ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS


Mid Sweden University is partnering up with 2D fab, Vesta Si, Ahlstrom-Munksjö and SAAB for a more sustainable future.

The need for energy storage increases as society transitions from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The new research project STORE, coordinated by Mid Sweden University, is set out to develop large-scale production of new electrical energy storage systems.

Researchers will work on energy storage in lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors, and the project encompasses the entire chain, from materials to power electronics. Nicklas Blomquist, researcher in material science, explains.

The STORE project has three focus areas. Firstly, to find suitable materials and processes, secondly, to develop electrodes for batteries and supercapacitors. Last, but not least, to develop power electronics towards end applications for the green energy sector.

As part of the project, researchers are investigating the possibilities of creating paper-based electrodes for batteries and supercapacitors.

– By coating paper with graphene, you create a conductive surface that can act as electrodes in batteries. We have been conducting test runs using this method, and the results are very promising, says Nicklas Blomquist.

2D fab is a proud partner of the STORE project and will provide Mid Sweden University with graphene and material knowledge. Other partners include Vesta Si, Ahlstrom-Munsjö, Woxna Graphite, SAAB, Powerbox, ComHeat Microwave and Elforest.


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Sundsvall 2020-03-10


"GRAPHENE CAN INCREASE PERFORMANCE SIGNIFICANTLY"



Hello Britta, and welcome to 2D fab! Could you tell us about your background?

– I moved to Sundsvall from Germany just over ten years ago to work at Akzo Nobel. In 2010 I met 2D fab’s CEO Sven at the Mid Sweden University, where I studied to get a master’s degree in chemical engineering. Sven was my mentor, and we did a great lot of research on graphene together. I got my PhD in Engineering Physics in 2017 and now, when I am not working for 2D fab, I am doing research on supercapacitors at the University. Oh, and also, I am a mother. I have two girls, two and four years old – adorable but a handful at times!


What does your work at 2D fab entail?

– I work on characterizing graphene, for example by measuring particle size and surface area. I am also researching how we can use graphene in lithium-ion batteries. We know graphene can increase performance significantly if we manage to find a good way to implement it in batteries. It is challenging but fun, I really enjoy working at 2D fab!


What do you think are the most fascinating qualities of graphene?

– I have to say the strength. Graphene in unbelievably strong, even though it is so thin. I am also fascinated by the fact that it is a nano material – which as a group are so hard to specify – with such a large amount of possible application areas.


In what applications do you believe we will find graphene in the future?

– It is hard to predict, but I come from the energy research community and I really believe graphene has a future in energy storage and harvesting. Not only batteries, but solar cells and nanogenerators as well. I also believe in graphene-enhanced polymers. Graphene is such an incredible material, and we, as a community, have not been able to test everything yet. There are so many exciting applications yet to be discovered, tested and developed!


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Sundsvall 2020-01-20


"WHEN THE PRICE IS COMING DOWN, THE POTENTIAL MARKETS ARE HUGE"



Hello Kajsa, and welcome to 2D fab! Tell us about your background and experiences.

– I hold a M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and have spent the last nineteen years working as production engineer and in different managerial roles. Prior to joining 2D fab, I worked as production manager for Expancel at Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel). As a person I am curious. I love to learn and in teams optimize productions to achieve the best results possible. That is also what I look forward to the most at 2D fab, we don't just manage products, we also develop them!


What are your responsibilities at 2D fab?

– As Production Manager I will keep developing our manufacturing process, together with Roland and the rest of the team of course. I have only been working here for a week, so what my exact duties are, remain to be seen. Right now, I spend most of my time overseeing the final assembly of our new production plant.


In your view, what are the greatest challenges and possibilities in graphene commercialization?

– The greatest challenge right now is the price. Graphene is too expensive. This makes potential customers and partner less eager to buy graphene and develop new products. But the price is coming down, and when it does the potential markets are huge. I especially believe in graphene in batteries and composites. Graphene can for example be used in cars, making them lighter and more energy efficient.


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Sundsvall 2019-12-19

3 ADVANTAGES OF GRAPHENE ENHANCED PLASTIC COMPOSITES


The history of plastics is long, but it would take until 1907 before the first fully synthetic plastic material was patented. Ever since, plastics has developed and found its way into an infinite range of products.

Today it is possible to mix plastic composites with graphene, giving the material new and better properties. We have listed three advantages of plastic composites containing graphene.


1. New applications

When graphene is mixed with other materials its properties are transferred, creating a unique cocktail within material technology. For example, graphene has very good thermal and electrical conductivity. Transferring these properties to plastic composites pave the way for many new applications.


2. Improving properties

By adding graphene in plastic composites, you can improve the properties the material already has. For example, graphene can increase a material’s strength and improve resistance to supersonic impacts, the latter being important in ballistic applications, such as body armor systems and shields.


3. Good processability

The production is compatible with existing manufacturing processes, so there is no need to make major changes to current production line e.g. injection molding or extrusion of thermoplastics. The process also increases productivity and cause less tool wear, due to graphene contributing to better thermal conductivity and being a very gentle additive compared to others commonly used, e.g. fiber glass.


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Sundsvall 2019-12-12

GRAPHENE OFFERS LARGE POTENTIAL FOR FUTURE BATTERIES


SIO Graphene recently cohosted “Graphene Battery Workshop” where research and industry within the graphene and battery sectors met to discuss what impact graphene can have on next generation batteries. One of the invited speakers was 2D fab's CEO Sven Forsberg.

The demand for energy production and storage increases as the global population grows. In order to reach the goal of a fossil-free society batteries and supercapacitors need to become more sustainable. Researches from around the world participated at “Graphene Battery Workshop” – arranged by SIO Graphene, Uppsala University and Battery 2030+ – to discuss graphene’s role in sustainable future batteries.

Matching graphene and silicon
There are a number of ways to apply graphene in batteries. For example, researchers at Chalmers are working with lithium-sulphur batteries, using a catholyte with the help of a graphene sponge. 2D fab’s approach on the other hand is to use graphene as a means to change the energy carries from graphite to silicon as anode material in lithium-ion batteries. This allows greater energy capacity possibilities since silicon can store more energy than graphite can.

– Silicon offers very low electrical conductivity. This, however, is not a problem since graphene has very high electrical conductivity, compensating for silicon’s deficiencies in this area, Sven Forsberg explained at Graphene Battery Workshop.

Another known problem with silicon in batteries is that silicon undergoes major volume changes during charging and discharging. Graphene is likely to be the solution to this as well, since its strong structures minimizes the effects of silicon’s expansion.


Cost-efficiency – a key aspect
2D fab's method to produce silicon-graphene anodes is cost-efficient and compatible with commercial fabrication methods.

– We have a number of ways to manufacture the silicon nanoparticles needed in this type of anode materia, keeping the costs down. Graphene also enables a more energy-efficient and cheap production of the anodes themselves, based on paper manufacturing technology, which is a key aspect for practically all industrial production processes, explained Sven Forsberg.

One of the main goals with Graphene Battery Workshop was to get actors from industry and research to interact. In order to get graphene into batteries and out on the market collaborations are required. Sven summed up his speech at the workshop on a hopeful note.

– We have a value chain with a number of knowledgeable industrial partners, with whom we will make graphene in batteries a reality.


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