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Graphene: Technologies, Applications and Markets

  • February 2016
  • 142 pages
  • BCC Research
Report ID: 958106


Table of Contents

Use this report to:
- Learn about the most recent advances in graphene technologies and applications.
- Identify emerging graphene technologies and applications with the greatest commercial potential in the time frame between 2015 to 2025.
- Gain information about the companies that are producing or developing commercial graphene applications.
- Identify market drivers and evaluate obstacles to their successful commercialization.

- BCC Research estimates the global graphene-based products market to be worth $1.5 million in 2015. The market should continue to grow from $310.4 million in 2020 to $2.1 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46.3%.
- Capacitors dominate the graphene market and are expected to grow from $50.0 million in 2020 to $625 million by 2025, a CAGR of 65.7% through 2025.
- Structural materials as a segment should reach $68.4 million by 2020 and $340 million by 2025, registering a CAGR of 37.8% for the eriod of 2020-2025.

Introduction & Scope

In October 2010, two University of Manchester (U.K.) scientists, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics for their research on graphene. Graphene is a sheet of carbon one atom thick yet its strength, flexibility and electrical conductivity have opened up new horizons for high-energy particle physics research and electronic, optical and energy applications. Potential electronics applications of graphene include ultra small transistors, superdense data storage, touchscreens and wearable electronics. In the energy field, potential applications include ultracapacitors to store and transmit electrical power as
well as highly efficient solar cells. Some researchers argue that the greatest potential for graphene lies in its ability to conduct light as well as electricity. They believe that graphene can improve the efficiency of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and aid in the production of next-generation devices like flexible touchscreens, photodetectors and ultrafast lasers.

This report is an updated version of an earlier BCC Research report published in 2013. Since that time, the graphene field has continued to develop rapidly, and BCC Research believes that an update that covers the most recent advances in graphene technologies and applications will be useful to readers. Graphene offers seemingly endless possibilities. However, intuition alone tells us that not all of these possibilities are likely to become reality. The goal of this report is to survey emerging graphene technologies and applications, identify those that are most likely to achieve significant commercial sales in the next five years to ten years and
develop quantitative estimates of potential sales. The report’s specific objectives support this broad goal. These objectives include identifying the graphene technologies and applications with the greatest commercial
potential in the time frame of 2015 to 2025, identifying market drivers and evaluating obstacles to their successful commercialization, and projecting future sales.

This report is intended especially for marketing executives, entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists and other readers with a need to know where the emerging graphene market is headed over the next five to 10 years. Although the report is organized around specific technologies, it is largely nontechnical in nature and coverage. That is, it is concerned less with theory and jargon than with what works, how much of what works the market is likely to purchase and at what price. The report has not been written specifically for scientists and technologists. However, the report’s findings concern the market for their work, including the availability of government and corporate research funding for different technologies and applications, should interest this audience as well.

The report addresses emerging global markets for graphene, including the applications listed below:
- Computing/data processing.
- Data storage.
- Communications.
- Thermal management.
- Displays.
- Solar cells.
- Sensing and imaging.
- Capacitors.
- Structural materials.
- Miscellaneous other applications.

The study format includes and/or addresses the following major elements:
- Executive summary.
- Definitions.
- General properties of graphene.
- Historical milestones in the development of graphene.
- Emerging and developmental graphene technologies and applications that have the greatest commercial potential through 2025.
- Detailed market estimates and projections for each application and material during the period from 2015 to 2020.
- General assessment of expected market trends in the longer term (2020 to 2025).
- Companies that are producing or developing commercial graphene applications.
- Patent analysis.

Projecting the market for emerging technologies, whose commercial potential has not yet been proven, is a challenging task. Nowhere is this truer than in the graphene field, which may help to explain why many analysts focus on supply-side technology assessments. However, BCC Research’s objective in this report is to provide not just a technology assessment but also an initial assessment of the potential commercial market for graphene. To accomplish this objective, BCC Research used a multiphase approach to identify the graphene applications with the greatest commercial potential and to quantify the related markets.

In the first phase of the analysis, BCC Research identified a long list of potential graphene applications, including those that are still under development. In the second phase, BCC Research eliminated those applications that appear to have little likelihood of making it into commercial use in the next five years to 10 years, based on a literature review and interviews with industry sources. The result of the second phase was a short list of graphene applications with the greatest commercial potential over the time period covered by this report. The third phase focused on quantifying the potential market for each application on the resulting list and identifying the main prerequisites for commercial success. Phase three actually had two components:

1. The development of near-to-mid-term (2015 to 2020) projections.
2. The development of longer-term (2020 to 2025) projections.

The development of such long-term projections is a departure from the usual BCC Research report format, necessitated by the long time frame for commercialization of many of the technologies analyzed in this report. Obviously the projections for the years beyond 2020 are more tentative than the projections for 2015 to 2020. The specific assumptions and approaches that BCC Research used to develop the projections (both near/mid-term and long-term) for each graphene application are documented in detail under the various applications addressed. This way, readers can see how the market estimates were developed and, if they so desire, test how changing the underlying assumptions would impact the final numbers. One of the approaches used by BCC Research deserves special mention here. Particularly in the case of graphene applications that are still under development, BCC Research used the sales performance of non-graphene applications that share some of the same functions or other characteristics of the graphene application as a benchmark
for assessing the latter’s sales potential.

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