Graphene market to reach 3800 tonnes per year in 2026

IDTechEx Research has projected that the graphene market will grow to $220m in 2026. This forecast is at the material level and does not count the value of graphene-enabled products. According to the research, continual decline in average sales prices will accompany the revenue growth, meaning that volume sales will reach nearly 3800 tonnes per annum in 2026.

Despite this, forecasts by IDTechEx Research in the report ‘Graphene, 2D Materials and Carbon Nanotubes: Markets, Technologies and Opportunities 2016-2026’ suggest that the industry will remain in a state of over-capacity until 2021 beyond which time new capacity will need to be installed. Furthermore, the report forecasts that nearly 90% of the market value will go to graphene platelets, as opposed to sheets.

“The market will be segmented across many applications, reflecting the diverse properties of graphene,” said Dr Khasha Ghaffarzadeh, head of consulting, IDTechex. “In general, we expect functional inks and coatings to reach the market earlier. This is a trend that we forecasted several years ago and is now observed in prototypes and small-volume applications. Indeed, IDTechEx Research projects that the market for functional inks and coatings will make up 21% of the market by 2018.”

The applications for conductive inks are numerous: anti-corrosion coatings, transparent conducting electronics, glucose test strips, car seat headers, de-icers, etc. Graphene can be added to carbon inks to improve conductivity and branding, and can be added to zinc-based anti-corrosion coatings to reduce zinc loading. IDTechEx has forecast that this will be a $25m market in 2022 at the material supply level.

The research forecasts that the energy storage sector will control 25% of the market in 2026, with nearly $100m of graphene sold into it. Here too, graphene will play the role of an additive to improve the performance of carbon-based Li-ion electrodes. Silicon anode and lithium sulphur batteries also represent long term opportunities, with these devices forecast to become $4.3b and $1.2b markets in 2026, respectively.

However, the largest sector will be the composites sector, which will grow to nearly $60m in 2026 at the material supply level, controlling 40% of the market. Here, graphene additives are expected to be used for converting low-cost, low-performance plastics into low-cost, high-performance ones.

Tom Austin-Morgan

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