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Advancing Graphene Technology in Malaysia

Malaysia’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation recently witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between two leading firms. Under this MoU, one of the firms, a leading company from Japan and well-known internationally, has been granted the exclusive right to distribute the graphite and graphene produced by a Malaysia-based graphene and graphite producer in Japan.

Looking at the Japanese firm’s strong track record and Japan as one of the main hubs of the automotive industry, this collaboration is seen to be able to promote Malaysian-made graphene materials.

The graphene producer, meanwhile, has pioneered an innovative approach to producing graphene from palm kernels. This patented technology is a solution that will advance the development of graphene. The technology that uses the palm kernel as the main ingredient in the production of graphene also gives Malaysia an advantage to supply raw materials in the production of graphene since Malaysia is one of the world’s largest producers of palm oil.

According to the Minister, this collaboration can provide great benefits to both firms since they are major players in their respective industries. It will provide significant revenue growth to both companies, further driving the Malaysian and Japanese economies.

In the long term, the aim is to the marketing of graphene produced by the Malaysian firm will benefit Malaysia because it has the potential to supply local companies with graphene products under the ‘Graphenovation’ program and enable Malaysia to become one of the world’s graphene exporters one day. In addition, it will also be an incentive for companies that want to take advantage of the great potential of graphene to invest in Malaysia.

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) also suggested that the firm establish a partnership with business development service in Malaysia, particularly in the supply chain and development of downstream products and applications with graphene, in addition to obtaining GrapheneVerify certification for the product to strengthen its presence with domestic recognition and international.

The global graphene market size is valued at US$ 87.5 million in 2019 and is projected to reach US$ 876.8 million by 2027, growing at a CAGR% of 40.2% from 2020 to 2027.

Graphene, the first 2-D carbon material in the world, widely regarded as a “wonder material” is ideal for many applications. Graphene is resistant to fire, an effective conductor, extremely versatile and 200 times stronger than steel and a substance of ultra-lightness.

Moreover, graphene is regarded in the chemical industry as an effective catalyst because of its properties such as high surface area and adsorption power. The rise in demand for chemicals worldwide is expected to increase graphene demand and thus, drive the growth of the global graphene industry.

Factors that are expected to fuel the growth of the graphene market are growing purchasing power and increasing consumer electronics demand such as tablets and mobile phones. In addition, graphene oxide-based transparent conductive films are used as a raw material in automobiles to make them safer and lighter.

However, the toxic nature of graphene and the risk involved in the graphene production process are expected to hamper the global graphene market growth over the projected period. Furthermore, continuous R&D activities around the globe and large-scale graphene production through renewable sources, in particular the use of value-added chemicals, are expected to give the industry enormous opportunities for growth.

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