Market Research Report
Graphene, 2D Materials and Carbon Nanotubes: Markets, Technologies and Opportunities 2018-2028
|Published by||IDTechEx Ltd.||Product code||249885|
|Published||Content info||349 Slides
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|Graphene, 2D Materials and Carbon Nanotubes: Markets, Technologies and Opportunities 2018-2028|
|Published: May 1, 2018||Content info: 349 Slides||
Graphene, 2D Materials and Carbon Nanotubes: Markets, Technologies and Opportunities 2018-2028
Granular ten-year market forecasts, data-driven and quantitative application assessment, 40+ interview-based company profiles, revenue/investment/capacity by player, and more.
This report offers a detailed analysis of the technological and commercial progress as well prospects of graphene, carbon nanotubes and non-graphene 2D materials.
This grouping of material technologies makes sense because graphene and CNTs, despite their morphological differences, have much in common; whilst non-graphene 2D materials promise to offer complementary properties.
This report is the result of years of ongoing research. We launched the first version of our report on CNTs and graphene in 2011 and 2012, respectively. In addition to the initial research, we have organized 13 business-focused events on topic ourselves in Europe and USA; we have also since attended and/or lectured at 10 relevant non-IDTechEx conferences in Asia, Europe and USA; we have interviewed more than 140 players worldwide; we have delivered 12 masterclasses to business leaders; and we have completed 7 major consulting projects. All this gives us an excellent and unrivalled insight into these industries.
Another unique point of strength for us is that we have extensive in-depth coverage of the end-use markets for these materials. Indeed, we have a series of independent reports on such topics. Examples includes our works on Li-ion Batteries 2018-2028, Supercapacitor Technologies and Markets 2018-2028, Advanced Li-ion & Beyond Li-ion Batteries 2018-2028, Composites 2017-2027: Innovations, Opportunities, Market Forecasts, Thermal Interface Materials 2016-2026: Status, Opportunities, Market Forecasts, Printed and Flexible Sensors 2017-2027: Technologies, Players, Forecasts, RFID Forecasts, Players and Opportunities 2017-2027, and so on. This expertise on the end-use markets enables us to better understand the landscape in which these materials compete.
CNTs are almost thirty years old already. In this time, they have gone through almost the entire hype curve, rising from their academic origins toward their peak of hype before nearly disappearing into the valley of disillusionment. CNTs have however been making a quiet comeback and have now indeed entered a phase of volume growth.
As in graphene and many other similar carbon additive materials, there is no single type of CNT but there are many. The diameter of on-market CNTs range from near 1nm to several hundred, taking the CNTs from being singled-walled (SWCNT) towards multi-walled (MWCNTs) and carbon nanofibers. Similarly, the tube lengths range from few micro meters all the way to 2 millimetres.
Each of these CNTs is a different material: it is produced differently; it is processed differently, and it is used differently. This diversity is also reflected in prices which cover nearly six orders of magnitude (from highest cost SWCNT to lowest cost MWCNT).
MWCNTs are mainly produced using the C-CVD process (catalytic chemical vapor deposition). The evolution of accumulated global production for MWCNTs is shown below. Note here that the commercialization efforts start around 2005/2006. The super hype then sets in, leading to a rush to install capacity. This pushes the industry into a state of overcapacity, and still worse, pushes many to produce a CNT that is not good enough to meaningfully displace carbon black or similar.
As a result, faced with disappointing prospects, some leave the business, leading to some correction in overall capacity. The global capacity then generally remains constant as some enter and leave. Importantly however, the utilization rate slowly begins to rise.
Our analysis is now that the market has entered a period of volume growth. MWCNT use in conductive plastic applications is now well established and is expanding. It is also being added to new polymers like elastomers. More importantly, it is being used more in batteries. This is more important because the battery market is an escalator market in that it itself is poised for rapid growth thanks to uptake of electric vehicles demanding large batteries operating in high charge-discharge regimes.
In general, like most carbon-based materials, CNTs have diverse target markets, giving resilience to their prospects. The growth in demand, we assess, will manifest itself soon as increased capacity. This process already begun when a multi-hundred-tonne facility came online in Asia a little over a year ago. This trend will continue.
Left: historical and projected price evolution of MWCNTs as a function time. The exact values have been removed in this article, but you can see that prices were reduced nearly by nearly a factor of 100. Right: global accumulated production capacity as a function time, telling the story of the market evolution. Source: IDTechEx Research
Like graphene, CNTs are often a substitute additive. As such, they must compete on price and performance against the reference market values set by the incumbent. This gives rise to a perennial downward cost pressure. The industry has therefore had no choice but to cut cost of production. And in that regard, it has had good success.
This is shown in the chart here, also showing the price evolution of CNTs. The blue dots show historic prices whilst red ones are our future projections: the learning curve is steep with prices having fallen by 2 orders of magnitude.
This competition on price and volume has largely commoditized the MWCNT supply business. We however do not mean that all differences in material quality have disappeared since many varieties of MWCNTs are on the market. The differences in quality, depending on application, will manifest themselves as small price differentials enabling the market to retain some of its speciality chemical character.
The CNT story is not all about MWCNTs. Indeed, SWCNT have superior performance on an individual tube basis given their higher surface-to-volume ratio. They are however more difficult and expensive to grow, come as mixed metallic and semiconducting types, and are much harder to disperse even though the wt% levels involved for the same or better effect might be much lower. These three attributes have combined to keep its market limited to some niche electronic devices.
Some companies are now seeking to change this by offering a more affordable and available SWCNT. Price and volume leaders are emerging, hoping to push SWCNTs closer to high-performance MWCNT in their market positioning. These SWCNT may compete with MWCNT as a substitute in some applications, but, more interestingly, they will open new applications despite their moderate-to-high impurity levels (in the as-grown versions).
One interesting application is that they can enable coloured (vs. black) conductive adhesives owing to their ultra-low loading levels. We assess that this and similar SWCNT will first find markets where they deliver this type of additional value to customers as they still cannot compete on cost directly.
Graphene is also going through its own hype curve. It is arguably now in that disillusionment valley. Graphene commercialization is however making steady progress. This can be summarized in the key trend below:
Furthermore, the market now realizes that there are many graphene materials and not all are equal. As such, the users now accept that the winning materials cannot be determined a priori as final application-level results are influenced by many parameters such as graphene morphology and formulation/compounding technique and conditions.
Interesting, and as now is familiar in many industries, China has become the leading territory in terms of nominal production capacity. Its rise to prominence has also made direct liquid phase exfoliation the leading process by share of production capacity. This is because many Chinese producers were not part of the first wave of graphene companies who relied upon the then-available rGO process.
This has changed. Graphene platelet prices have fallen and are beginning to converge, for now. The prices will however not settle around a single point, reflecting the diversity of graphene types and giving it a speciality chemical character. Furthermore, suppliers will be reluctant to further cut costs out of fear of premature commoditization although the continuation of this trend has an air of inevitability to it.
This is no surprise but is likely to soon change. Experience has demonstrated that new materials take years, if not decades, to commercialize. Graphene is also no exception therefore this behaviour is in our view a natural part of growth process of the industry.
We forecast that a circa. $300M market, at the material supply level, will be formed within the next ten years. Since graphene is still largely an additive material, this means that we will find graphene, of different types, in numerous volume applications in the years to come. This success, it is worth remembering, will not have come overnight but will have been the results of almost two decades of steadfast global research and commercialization efforts.
These materials are still largely in the academic phase. They however hold enormous long-term promise in that they can complement the properties of graphene. They can, for example, add insulating or semiconducting (with sizable bandgaps) 2D materials to the menu of material options. In this report, we will outline some of the latest progress here in particular focusing on the need they serve in future electronic applications.
This report provides the following:
Introduction and business dynamics/trends
Ten-year segmented market forecasts
Here, we cover energy storage (li ion, silicon anode, LiS, supercapacitor and other); composites (mechanically-enhanced, permeation-enhanced, conductive, thermal, EMI shielding, conductive 3D printing filaments, tire, other); inks and coatings (anti-corrosion coating, RFID antenna, other); transistors, transparent conductive films, thermal interface materials and so on.
Here we cover electric vehicle and consumer electronic Li ion batteries, supercapacitors, CNT additives for automotive fuel lines and car body part painting, CNTs for IC trays and similar; other conductive polymer; non-tire rubber additives; tire additives; thin film transistors; transparent conductive films; cable screen shield; and cable replacement.
Here we provide interview-based insights into over 100 companies. For a full list see the table of content below.
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