Initial laboratory tests commissioned by advanced materials company First Graphene (ASX: FGR) have confirmed its PureGRAPH 5 product to be suitable for use in car engine cooling systems with a view to improving fuel efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.
Tests conducted by research centre FlexeGRAPH – a graphene spin-out from the Australian National University in Canberra – have found the PureGRAPH range of products to be a “highly suitable component” which can enhance production throughput of engines without compromising fluid performance.
FlexeGRAPH is developing advanced coolant technology using graphene-enhanced heat transfer fluids and aims to commercialise nanofluids for engines, electric vehicle batteries and computing cooling using raw material supplied by First Graphene.
The centre has developed a family of fluids enhanced with graphene nanotechnology to replace existing water and glycol-based coolants and liquids used in heat transfer applications.
This results in enhanced thermal conductivity and heat transfer with high levels of stability, even at high operating temperatures.
FlexeGRAPH has been trialling PureGRAPH 5 as an input material, with the latest test findings eliminating a potential production bottleneck and leading to a rapid expansion in FlexeGRAPH’s fluid production volume capabilities.
Tests have confirmed PureGRAPH can provide benefits in the areas of car engine cooling, enabling higher operating temperatures and reducing fuel consumption; electric vehicle battery cooling, offering reduced charging times and extended battery life; and improved performance of drilling and cutting tools.
First Graphene managing director Craig McGuckin said the initial test results provide evidence of PureGRAPH’s suitability in a range of real-world applications.
“The performance improvements offered by PureGRAPH-enhanced materials is being demonstrated repeatedly with our partners and customers,” he said.
“The consistent quality [of this technology] provides the end user with confidence in a quality-assured and proven product.”
Graphene in energy storage
Graphene is one of the lightest and strongest materials available, and is known to be a prime conductor of heat and electricity, making it amenable to a varied number of applications.
Looking forward, there is scope for the material to be developed in conjunction with other two-dimensional crystals to create new compounds to suit additional applications.
The use of graphene in energy storage is currently being studied by scientists working on enhancing the capabilities of lithium-ion batteries by incorporating graphene as an anode to offer higher storage capacities with better longevity and charge rates.
Graphene is also being developed for use in the manufacture of “supercapacitors” capable of storing large amounts of electricity and being quickly recharged.
First Graphene has collaboration arrangements with four universities to help it stay at the cutting edge of graphene and 2D-related material developments.
Most recently, the company became a Tier 1 participant in the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.
The partnership gives the company access to its own research laboratories and dedicated programs, and allows it to tap into resources provided by the University’s experienced graphene research team.
At midday, shares in First Graphene were trading 7.14% higher at $0.15.