Malaysia poised to become Asia’s largest producer of graphene

Malaysia is poised to become the largest producer of graphene materials in Asia. — AFP pic
Malaysia is poised to become the largest producer of graphene materials in Asia. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Malaysia is poised to become the largest producer of graphene materials in Asia once Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) sets up a graphene plant in the country within two years.

FGV Executive Vice-President of Palm Downstream Cluster Datuk Zakaria Arshad said the RM15 million plant was expected to have a production capacity of nine kilogrammes of graphene per day.

“The location of the plant has not been specifically identified, but it is expected to be located at one of FGV’s mills,” he told reporters at the Malaysian Investment Development Authority seminar on Graphene here today.

Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon that combines extreme mechanical strength, exceptional electronic and thermal conductivities, impermeability to gases as well as many other properties that make it highly attractive for a broad range of applications.

This downstream production of graphene material would be used in the development of products in various industries encompassing aerospace, telecommunications, rubber, palm oil, electronics, oil and gas and solar, he said.

Giving an example for graphene use in palm oil, Zakaria said this innovative development enables methane and other by-products from crude palm oil to be used as raw input at very low costs, while producing high quality materials.

Last year, FGV, in a joint venture effort with Cambridge Nanosystems, built a carbon nanotubes and graphene plant in the United Kingdom that produces between 50 and 100 tonnes of products a year to cater the European market.

“We need to create more demand for these products in the country and in order to do that, higher awareness on graphene technology, especially among Malaysian companies, need to be addressed.

“That is why FGV is collaborating with MIDA to create more awareness on graphene technology,” he said.

The half-day seminar drew more than 150 participants, mainly from companies that are keen to explore potential investments in products using graphene.

MIDA Deputy Chief Executive Officer Datuk N. Rajendran said through the seminar, participants were encouraged to explore new areas in graphene technology for the production of high quality products.

He said the size of the global graphene market was expected to increase by 2020, with the consequent maturation of graphene industrialisation.

“Graphene could generate substantial upside for Malaysia through the commercialisation of graphene-enhanced products if we leverage its full potential,” said Rajendran.

He said in line with the National Graphene Action Plan 2020, MIDA was committed to promoting the economic development of the graphene ecosystem,  particularly in advanced materials. — Bernama

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