I was looking for an investment possibility and did the footwork to see if it was worthwhile to invest in graphene.
First of all, I’d like to explain how and why graphene might make a great investment possibility. Ever since it was recently discovered in 2004, graphene was turning heads.
The 21st century so far was full of raw material breakthroughs. A trend I could observe was the shift towards organic materials; namely carbon-based ones. Inorganic materials were pushed to the limit of current technology, and a new successor to carry on the momentum was discovered.
The conclusion to a trend set by plastics
The first artificial organic materials that come to mind are plastics. These set a trend of making light, flexible and durable materials that were expected to one day replace a spectrum of substitutes ranging from steel to glass.
I believe that this goal wasn’t met due to the downsides of plastics; especially their higher reactivity with certain chemicals, lower durability, and release of additives such as bisphenols.
Carbon-based materials do away with a good part of plastics’ disadvantages and may hence prove a stepping stone into a more advanced era.
I asked, what makes graphene special, then?
- Frankly speaking, a host of things does. You can delve into all the details over here, I’ll cover this topic in a more concise manner.
- Graphene is an atom-thick layer of just carbon atoms. Their arrangement in hexagonal benzene rings reminds me of honeycombs.
- As exotic as it may sound, graphene is effectively two-dimensional. Probably due to its thickness, it is transparent and flexible.
- The fast electron transfer that’s a consequence of its structure makes graphene superconductive. The way the carbon atoms are bound together makes it 200-times more durable than steel.
I tried to find out what impact graphene had on the scale of global investments
I was surprised by the relatively lukewarm reception of graphene breakthroughs by the global players. While the public and academia were apparently thrilled, the big players were a little more cautious.
Companies like IBM and Tesla invested into graphene; however it seemed more like a back burner-project for them. In its published documents, IBM doesn’t even go into the details of how graphene would be utilized.
A different reaction could be observed at the scale of small and medium business; namely start-ups. A wealth of new companies was founded, each promising good future returns to the venture capitalist.
So have I found any viable investment strategies for graphene?
I am still waiting to see how graphene pans out on industrial level. So far it is being produced in laboratory volumes by specialist companies such MST nano, and a specific process applicable to industrial quantities is yet to be discovered and proven.
I think that when such a process is established, that will be the breaking point. Until that time, I decided it is not worth to risk. That doesn’t mean to stop watching the developments of graphene; not at all.
I believe it is necessary to simply be prepared. Once some company succeeds in producing graphene economically and in industrial quantities (here’s the overview of current production technologies), it will be a matter of time. Those who’ll react soon enough will be able to reap the fruits of actual rapid growth.
So what am I looking forward to?
Today, during conjecture, funds are more easily available and a lot of people are trying to find the next big thing. Since the time is prone to speculative investing, I think timing is crucial. I am curious to find out if graphene will be the next big deal or the next bubble.
In order to make the distinction, I will be focusing on two things. Those are viable means of production and sufficient consumption to use up the produce. I think it comes down to good old analysis and common sense. If it’s better than current materials, can be viably produced, and has a stable demand, I’m all up for making an investment.