Progress in the Commercialization of Graphene

European Plastics News posted an article on it's site last week,("Graphene developers seek routes out of the lab"), focusing on challenges to and progress in the commercialization of graphene, specifically its "potential as a mutlifunctional reinforcement in composites".

Among the challenges the article raises are:

1) Entangling of 3D carbon nanotubes (CNTS) bundles

2) Individual graphite sheets restacking themselves

3) Handling of such shets during transportation to processing facilities

4) Reduction of costs of production and transportation

5) A need to develop standard operating procedures for potential health hazards

While these challenges may seem daunting, the success of three companies - Vorbeck Materials of Maryland,Cabot Corporation of Massachusetts, and Thomas Swan & Co., based in the United Kingdom - are highlighted.

The article also discusses the ongoing support of  the European Commission (EC) and the UK's government of research in graphene and how to commercialize it.:

The European Commission is planning to channel €1bn over 10 years into co-ordinated graphene research and commercialisation. The UK government has announced it wants to spend another £50m (€60.7m) to keep the UK at the forefront of graphene research, with the University of Manchester set to host a national institute of graphene research. Commercialisation of graphene by this route could arrive by late 2012.

Converted in US dollars, the EC will be spending $1.278 billion and the UK $78.153 million.

Harry Potter and the Nanocloak of Invisibility

Harry Potter sat quietly at his desk, trying once more to make his way through "The History of Magic" that  Professor Binns had assigned, when Ron Weasley came into his room, excited and out of breath, holding the current issue of The Daily Prophet.

"Harry, have you seen  this?"

"Seen what", asked Harry, trying to sound slightly annoyed, but welcoming the distraction. How could a history of magic be so dull?, he thought.

"Does the EU have a Ministry of Magic?"

"Not that I've heard of. Why?"

Ron placed the newspaper before Harry, folded to an inner page. "Then there must be a wizard working for them."

Harry looked at his friend, then at the article

                                    E.U. CREATES INVISIBILITY CLOAK

"Nellie Kroes, the VP of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, announced that  EU funded nanotechnology research had created an "invisibilty cloak", made up of nanometre sized rods that can bend light waves, changing the waves direction and speed around objects, effectively rendering them invisible.

The EC forsees applying the results of this research to the development of new and better lenses, light storage devices and other optical devices."

Harry looked up from the paper, then at his friend. A deep sigh escaped his lips.

"Invisibility." He shook his head slowly. "The next thing you know, the EU will have quidditch leagues."