Graphite producer and graphene developer Tirupati Graphite has appointed Dr Matthieu Gresil as adviser and consultant to the company for market research and development of graphene products, as well as to support the development of its Tirupati Graphene and Mintech Research Centre (TGMRC), in India.
Gresil – a researcher and renowned expert on polymers and composites – is a senior lecturer at Monash University in Melbourne, having previously worked using Tirupati’s graphene to develop a specialised self-healing recyclable graphene composite at the University of Manchester.
The TGMRC is focused on graphene manufacturing and applications development and mineral processing technology development. The development of the centre is progressing with detailed construction planning and equipment sourcing and recruitment initiatives have been undertaken. This comes as the company focuses on fast-tracking commercial scale production of graphene and creating facilities for minerals and materials technology development.
The TGMRC is focussed on manufacturing graphene, developing its applications and providing environment-friendly technologies for mineral processing industries. This is composed of Grace – a graphite and graphene centre of excellence; and Mintech – a mineral processing and extractive metallurgy centre of excellence.
In line with Tirupati’s modular development strategy, a two-acre plot has been allocated to TGMRC in Bhubaneswar by the Industrial Development Corporation – an entity of the government of Odisha.
The TGMRC is designed to further enhance the material properties of Tirupati’s zero-chemical graphene products to consistently achieve a specific surface area of 1 100 m2/g – 1 200 m2/g from 400 m2/g – 500 m2/g, which is likely to further enhance the use and compatibility of the material in various graphene enhanced applications being developed.
Tirupati CEO Shishir Poddar says, “we are delighted to report the all-round progress we are making in the development of our . . . TGMRC as a strong, stand-alone, revenue generative division in our business model.”
He says the model is designed to catalyse the commercialisation of graphene applications by developing commercial/bulk scale manufacturing of consistent, high-quality graphene at affordable costs.
“With the global market for graphene forecast to reach over $1-billion by 2023 as techno-commercial bottlenecks are overcome, we intend to be a significant contributor to this growth.”
The persistent drive and innovation of Tirupati’s team has led to significant ongoing enhancements in the properties of its high-quality graphene products and enhanced their compatibility in applications, says Poddar. He says this is an important factor in graphene-enhanced technology developments.
“Discussions with various technical experts suggest that the new feat achieved by us in specific surface area, is unique and could potentially be highly valuable. We will continue research and [conduct] test work to unlock the advantages that our graphene could bring to various graphene-enhanced applications being developed.”
To further strengthen the company’s expertise and widen its reach in the world of composites, Poddar says Tirupati is excited to welcome Gresil to the team.
“I am delighted to join the efforts of Tirupati in providing the globe a high-quality graphene material,” says Gresil, adding that his experience using the material in developing a complex self-healing, shape morphing, and recyclable/reprocessable polymer gives him confidence on being able to take it to the markets in the world of advanced multifunctional composites and two-dimensional nanomaterials.
In addition to its speciality downstream graphite and graphene operations in India, Tirupati also owns two graphite mining operations in Madagascar. The Sahamamy and Vatomina projects are expected to produce about 81 000 t/y of graphite by 2024.