Early last month, a tweet regarding the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine went viral.
The social media post showed a research report by the National Administration of Drugs, Foods, and Medical Devices — Argentina’s equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration — that said the vaccines contain graphene.
Although the report did in fact say, “Graphene is found within its components,” the agency clarified on January 17 that the sentence contained a typo…
It was supposed to say, “Graphene is not found within its components.”
Yeesh! Just another reason copy editors are so important. But anyone who’s even slightly familiar with graphene knows that if the compound were in the vaccines, we’d all certainly be dead.
This type of misinformation is dangerous because some people will take it seriously, like claims that the vaccines increase magnetism in your body or give you a stronger 5G signal, which have repeatedly been debunked by reputable sources, including Reuters and AFP Fact Check.
It’s amazing that experts have to publicly disprove these claims, but that’s where we are as a society now. Talking about the shots, professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University Catherine Klapperich said, “There’s nothing mechanical, there’s nothing electrical, there’s nothing magnetic.” And Marc Mendelson, professor of infectious diseases at the Groote Schuur Hospital in South Africa, told AFP that “none of the vaccines approved for use by the World Health Organization or any other internationally recognized regulatory bodies contain graphite, graphene, or its derivative, graphene oxide.”
What this recent tweet did do, however, was spark renewed interest in graphene, which, if you’ll remember, has been hailed as a “wonder material” for almost two decades, but with little to show for itself… until now.
Stairway to Heaven
The 2010 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov for their “groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.”
Now, graphene was studied in the 1940s, so it wasn’t the discovery of the compound that earned the researchers the prize; it was the way they isolated it by pulling layers from a lump of graphite with sticky tape.
These are the actual materials the researchers used…
Who knew it was so easy to win a Nobel Prize?
The properties of graphene are pretty astounding. Its two-dimensional chemical structure forms a single interlocking hexagonal lattice sheet. This honeycomb structure is one of the strongest chemical structures known to man — 100 times stronger than steel. It’s only one atom thick, so it’s extremely lightweight and flexible. It’s also the most conductive material scientists have ever found.
The discovery sparked a media frenzy, referred to as the “graphene gold rush.”
The media blitz espoused every possible use case of the newly discovered material, including bulletproof armor, batteries, new electronic circuitry, water filters, ultralight airplanes, solar cells, wearable medical chips, antennas, megastructures, and even a space elevator…
Even now, it’s hard not to get excited about graphene because it’s still considered a material that will usher in a new age of human evolution.
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How Much Longer?
We’re very much still in the early stages of graphene. Publicly traded companies using graphene are few and far between.
That’s because mass-producing quality graphene has proven extremely costly and time consuming. Large sheets of graphene need to be produced for commercial use.
According to American Scientist, “For the remarkable wonders of graphene to be realized, it must be produced in massive amounts — cheaply.”
Luckily, we’re getting closer to that goal every day.
The most common way to produce large graphene sheets is through chemical vapor deposition (CVD), where copper is heated to 1,000 degrees Celsius and then exposed to methane gas. This causes layers of graphene to form on the copper’s surface, where it can be transferred to a material that needs enhancing. But it takes a very long time, makes only a small amount, and produces toxic byproducts. Not to mention, the quality of graphene is subpar.
Even though the highest-quality graphene is made from mined graphite, it comes at a cost to the consumer and the environment. And as the world transitions to graphene-based products in almost every industry, the U.S. will have to answer to China, which holds the most graphite reserves.
We’re left in an environment where new companies must find innovative ways to produce graphene cheaply and efficiently in order for the trend to take off.
The Graphene Era Is Upon Us
Many companies are already mixing graphene into their products.
Motorcycle clothing company Momo released the first-ever graphene helmet that features superior impact resistance and stays cool even when exposed to direct sunlight.
Vorbeck Materials makes harnesses and graphene-laced wearable electronics for the military. The company also experiments with graphene rubber and even ink, with the hope that medical companies will incorporate graphene tattoo-like technology to keep track of a person’s vital signs, including hydration and skin temperature.
Researchers at MIT 3D-printed graphene building blocks that were 10 times stronger than steel at 1/20th the weight.
After a decade of floundering, it looks like graphene is finally making good on those promises as a wonder material.
The most exciting application for the near future is in next-generation rechargeable batteries. Because graphene is highly conductive, it can reduce charging time, extend range, and remain cooler than any current battery.
Companies like Samsung and Huawei are already experimenting with a graphene-enhanced lithium-ion battery that lasts 50% longer and stays cooler than its lithium counterpart.
Needless to say, the electric vehicle market is champing at the bit to get its hands on these batteries. In fact, in 2014, Elon Musk said Tesla was looking into a graphene battery but that it would increase the price of its cars. So in order for a graphene battery to take on widespread adoption, graphene needs to be cheaply produced.
Our microcap expert Alex Koyfman has uncovered one tiny company doing just that. He believes this under-the-radar company is set to win the graphene battery war.
Because it uses a new graphene production method that makes a clean, high-quality product more cheaply than anyone else out there, this company is a no-brainer investment opportunity. And best of all, it produces graphene here in the U.S. — no need to rely on China’s resources.
Alex just released a brand-new presentation about the current state of the graphene industry and the only company disrupting it.
Get everything you need to know right here.
Editor, Wealth Daily
After Alexander’s passion for economics and investing drew him to one of the largest financial publishers in the world, where he rubbed elbows with former Chicago Board Options Exchange floor traders, Wall Street hedge fund managers, and International Monetary Fund analysts, he decided to take up the pen and guide others through this new age of investing.
Alexander is the investment director of Insider Stakeout — a weekly investment advisory service dedicated to tracking the smartest money on the planet so that his readers can achieve life-altering, market-beating returns. He also serves at the managing editor for R.I.C.H. Report, a comprehensive service that uses the highest-quality investment research and strategies that guides its members in growing their wealth on top of preserving it.
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