HELIOS RUEHLS SCIENCE REPORT NO.2 GOMs FUTURE AND INVESTMENT THOUGHTS
THE GREAT NAMAZU, RETIRED JAPANESE GIANT CATFISH DEMIGOD TURNED ANALYST AND COMMENTATOR
In our first science report for Helios Ruehls, Inc. we told you about GOMs (Graphene-Oxide Membranes), a little of what they are capable of and how they may affect our own seemingly never ending search for research grant money for the Fractal Lens. One thing we've learned here at Helios Ruehls is that the progress of science is relentless, but irregular and profoundly affected by politics and economics. Another thing that we have learned is that nearly every scientific investigation that we make begins with an examination of the "state of the art". The examination of the "state of the art" usually leads to discoveries concerning the state of the industry, its establishment companies, rising stars, and transformational developments. As a corporation we can't lead the charge in every field of high tech endeavor, but we've learned that we can invest in any of them. We're going to pass on to you some information about GOMs that we didn't pass in Report No.1. Some readers might act on this information as if it were investment information. Before you do that remember what you paid for this information (nothing) and realize that it may be worth what you paid for it. Before investing in anything the prudent investor always researches the fundamentals of any company targeted for investment. What we pass on here doesn't touch on such fundamentals such as the annual revenues, level of capitalization, corporate debt, or management's credentials. Consider this, if you consider it at all as investment information, as merely a primer on GOMS.
Graphene is seen as a transformational material, a veritable "wonder material". Speaking like our lab guys , Graphene is one of the simplest of allotropes of carbon. So it not supernatural and has been around for a while, but as scientists have been examining it of late it appears to exhibit properties and apparent capabilities that are truly amazing. The stuff is pretty thin, in fact only one atom thick, its like a two dimensional substance and has a mass as close to zero as we have ever seen so far. Yet, and here it comes for our own physicists lab guys, it has an electrical conductivity six orders of magnitude higher than copper, is flexible, and impermeable to gas even after flexing. Its potential usages are mind boggling. Yet, there doesn't appear yet to be an obviously visible mass market application, at least not until the University of Manchester announced that they had demonstrated that graphene-oxide membranes could convert salt water into potable water. We, (the Helios Ruehl's wizards and your humble catfish) immediately observed the potential use for such membranes (called "GOMs") in desalinization, particularly, and most probably soonest in small scale operations such as smaller marine vessel "water making".
In this report we'll look at graphene's potential in industry and its probable place in competition with other technologies known and emerging. In our last report we viewed it relative to the desalinization and maritime "water making" industries. We examined it as a potential competitor with our own struggling fractal lens technological development and as a competitor for research grant funding in the desalinization field.
The discovery of graphene and indeed graphene -oxide membranes is amazingly simple. If only fractal lenses could be produced with such simplicity. Basically it happened like this. University of Manchester professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov managed to peel flakes of carbon just a single atom in thickness from graphite in 2004. Their method was decidedly low tech, they peeled up pencil scratchings with scotch tape. The discovery of the potential industrial importance of such thin layers of graphite became apparent a few years later when they proved that these thin layers could conduct electricity with diligence and fervor, winning the two scientists the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics.
About six months later the two researchers experienced our wildest dream at Helios Ruehls, the perverbial researcdh cash avalanche . It started when the EU invested about a billion Euros in graphene research, followed by MIT opening a center for Graphene research. The cash and the fun have just kept rolling in, Geim and Novoselov were even knighted by Queen Elizabeth , one of your Catfish Reporter's favorite people. Today Graphene, the Graphene -Oxide Membrane (GOM) and the carbon nanotube ( more or less a graphene roll) are hot topics of physics research and go to the head of the line for research bucks. The head of the line is a place that we at Helios Ruehls have yet to occupy, but we never stop trying.
One of our basic hopes for future fractal lens applications is also our earliest foray into the realm of the fractal lens, energy production. We think the chief benefit of our still developing "product" is its ability to maximize solar thermal electrical production , already far more efficient than the photo voltaic process which converts sunlight directly into electricity, and our "product" can be interfaced with existing and high cost electrical generation and distribution systems, basically eliminating traditional fuels or even nuclear generated electrical power. However , while we first learned of GOMS and graphene developments generally in relation to desalinization this stuff's capacity for electrical transmission points to interest in the technology for novel energy solutions.
Over in one of our favorite states, Texas, at Rice University (aka Sam Houston Institute of Technology, try not to think about the initials) researchers came up with a graphene-doped cathode that can be used to produce dye -sensitized solar cells. The photo-voltaic solar cell industry so loved by the leftist , tree hugging grant administrators of the DOE under the Obama administration have been seeking such a cell for 20 years. All of their prototypes to date have never reached the efficiency of the silicon-based cells, which we have argued for years are basically too inefficient to ever produce power on a municipal electrical grid scale. These cheap semi transparent, more efficient dye sensitized cells can be fabricated anywhere and probably can work indoors and in other diffused sunlight areas, some predict in ambient light levels bordering on semi darkness. Well your reporting Catfish in't so sure of that rosy of a future for these super slick electrical conductors, but clearly they are going to have a big appeal on the research grant circuits that provide R&D funding for alternative power generation.
Graphene appears to have a potential for use in lithium batteries for your smart phone and other devices. Supposedly, at least according to some R& D grant applications graphene has a potential to increase the overall energy density of such batteries. The lithium-sulfur battery has a greater capacity than a lithium -ion battery. But the ion model is common today because the sulfur model has a much shorter life cycle because sulfur is very soluble. .Researchers are currently experimenting with ways to use graphene to inhibit the solubility of sulfur specifically in order to improve the performance of the sulfur based batteries at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Despite all of that well funded research the battery industry is well aware that lithium is not the ideal battery material. Secondary sources report that some researchers are working with aluminum anodes and graphene foam electrodes to make batteries. So far, if we believe sources, perhaps two levels above rumor mill status the resulting batteries so far have been an improvement in electrical output or extended battery service life but were flexible and considered quite safe. According to secondary sources, lab guys said they could drill a hole in these batteries with no dangerous effect. By contrast it only takes a short puncture to explode a standard cell phone battery. Here at Helios Ruehls we know the market for "ruggedized gear", especially the military market. I guess we'll have to welcome graphene into the R& D grant competition at DARPA and the DOD. And, here we thought our main competition in the defense market were the older, more established DC beltway bandits.
Does the interest in graphene based technologies know no bounds? Kia Motors of South Korea with major plants in Alabama applied for a U.S. patent in 2011 for a graphene based fuel cell. It is thought this may be a first step towards an efficient hydrogen burning automotive engine.
This stuff may eventually even be in your clothing, while your clothing may soon incorporate "wearable technology". Graphene has tweaked the interest of textile researchers due to its flexibility, tensile strength, and electrical conductivity. The stuff is getting into fabrics.It is reported that researchers at the University of Exeter in Great Britian have already developed a method for coating textile fibers with graphene, creating a transparent and wearable material for future "Wearable technologies". Down under Aussie R& D hounds have created graphene oxide yarns. But conductivity within textiles isn't the only interest in graphene by the textile industry. It seems that carbon nanotubes are a toughening agent for polymer composites. Think about that in terms of anti ballistic body armor, especially the concealable type.
Lubricants, this stuff may be a super lubricant! Graphene not only exhibits near super-conductivity but also near superlubricity when mixed with other substances. When graphene contacts diamond particles and carbon fiber things get complex and very slippery. Graphene literally rolls around diamond particles to form microscopic ball bearing like structures that in groups are called nanoscrolls. And if that wasn't enough graphene appears to be useful in non lubricating coatings. Vanderbilt University has created in the lab a graphene -oxide film that causes water to bead and run off, applied to an automotive wind shield, might we see a permanent "Rain -X" type coating? Think of the uses in water repellent clothing which may already have graphene coated fibers to support your wearable IT and Electronic communications devices. Eye wear and construction applications might include self cleaning glass.
Here at Helios Ruehls we've been seeking out the leaders in nano technology for some months especially up and coming manufacturers of NEMS and MEMS, but it appears there may be a day coming when graphene will be introduced into NEMS AND MEMS technology, perhaps this is an indicator of who the big winners in the NEMS and MEMS races will be, those companies that already show evidence of anticipating the introduction of graphene into their processes. One recent experiment illustrated not only graphene's or graphene -oxide's utility in nano electrical and micro electrical operations but illustrates graphene's apparent capacity as a producer of heat and light, the thing we're after with the fractal lens. Recently secondary sources report that researchers in a so far unnamed laboratory created a "nano sun" with a graphene conductor. When a 2 to 3 volt charge was applied to a layer of graphene the spark rose in temperature to 2,500 degrees celsius or about half the surface temperature of the sun. While it is thought that graphene emits only half of its heat energy in light, the experiment produced visible light. One arleady discussed application might be a micro cutting torch that can perform on a molecular level. Now consider that one application that we envision for micro fractal lens technology is an improved molecular tweezers. The molecular tool box is starting to appear on the visible horizon.
And the potential uses just keep coming. Graphene appears to be a boon in the realm of data transmission and sensors. For example there are now at least at the lab stage new filters in the terahertz spectrum, expected to play a part in the next generation of wireless communications. Terahertz waves are in the middle of the electromagnetic spectrum in an area previously under utilized in electronic communications. The terahertz wave lengths appear able to carry data thousands of time faster than present day wireless technology. Superstar material graphene has been demonstrated to be a super filter and effective linear polarizer for devices needed to communicate in the terahertz range such as modulators, detectors and metamaterials.
Not only does graphene filter electromagnetic waves, but it can act as an extremely sensitive bio sensor. The instant any molecule binds with it, the electrical conductivity of the graphene drops. Indeed if anything, right now the stuff is judged as too sensitive for biological sensing, but the HZB Institute for Photovoltaics has been at work for some time on improving its selectivity so it can be used to detect traces of organic molecules.
Really, I could go no forever describing the ever expanding potential applications for this seemingly magic material. Out on the far edge there is some discussion in the robotics science community of using graphene/ graphene oxide membranes as a sensitive skin for humanoid style robots, but closer to reality touch sensitivity can immediately improve manufacturing process robots and some one is working on that. At Exeter University in Great Britain lab wonks are already using a new chemical vapor deposition (CVD) machine from the UK graphene company MOORFIELD to create a transparent, flexible touch sensor. This could be the first practical work on sensitive "robot skin".
WHATS IT ALL MEAN TO HELIOS RUEHLS, INC INVESTORS?
Well first it serves as an example of how "Transformational Technologies" which is what Helios Ruehls is all about differ in impact and quality from each other. Our present leading projects are focused on the fractal lens, industrial sized and projection lantern size. We see in the industrial size applications what could be "transformational" in the realm of electrical production eliminating the use of a lot of dirty forms of fuel. But the industrial sized fractal lens is also transitional in that it would facilitate the change over from dirty fuels while still using the existing electrical generation and transmission grid. In the realm of desalinization solar thermal heat sources such as the fractal lens are starting to look like early transformational and transitional in that they will revolutionize municipal water supply sized desalinization projects while preserving most of the existing technology beyond the heat source. The same is true for for fractal lens applications in mineral refining operations, new energy / heat source but down stream technology is preserved. Transitional technologies tend to improve older technological processes and may be transformational in that they eliminate at least one component part of an industrial process. We still are suffering from R& D funding hunger on the Fractal lens projects. Since we have not yet produced the testable "lab rat lens" we haven't looked at applications much beyond electrical production, desalinization, and mineral refinement yet. The Fractal lens may yet prove fully transformative in terms of as yet unexplored applications such as heat and particle beam weapons. The applications of the micro fractal lens may be more transformative in terms of applications in artificial and augmented reality. At present using the fractal lens projects as examples we are operating in our corporate infancy on the low end of the transformational technology spectrum. Our most expensive and complex projects are "transitional transformative".
By contrast, graphene development changes things across a host of fields and renders many previous technologies obsolete. The introduction of various fully developed graphene applications will literally close down some older micro electronic industries that fail to adapt.
The picture of the industrialized world that emerges after the introduction of the fractal lens is cleaner, safer, and more productive but not unrecognizable from the present. The post fully developed graphene technology world of graphene enhanced NEMS, MEMS, etc. is unrecognizable from the present word. The post mature graphene based and enhanced technologies world will seem magical to those raised in the eras of analog and electronic and digital technologies. Graphene development is truly TRANSFORMATIVE TECHNOLOGY.
SO HOW DOES A LITTLE R& D COMPANY LIKE HELIOS RUEHLS, INC, BARELY ABLE TO KEEP TWO LOWER TIER TRANSFORMATIVE TECHNOLOGY PROJECTS AND TWO INVESTIGATIONS (PRE PROJECT RESEARCH) ALIVE BREAK INTO THE THE MAJOR LEAGUE?
We don't break into anything. We don't swim against the incoming tide.We Surf! As we conduct our own research we learn every day about parallel developments in transformative technologies. Yes these are competitors for R& D grants, but the companies leading the charge into transformative technologies are not our competitors, if anything they are our potential customers for intellectual property that we develop and for contract research services. Remember after the close of Helios Ruehls LLC we decided to avoid manufacturing anything. We do R&D. We do R&D in partnership with our "sweat equity" stock holders in university physics departments. Our "overhead" between funded or contracted projects is lower than the sea floor. Our present rate of capital accumulation is too low to finance speculative projects of any size , so in keeping with the surfing philosophy we reserve part of every investment dollar in investing in the emerging transformational technology leaders. This way we share in their prosperity and stay in touch with what is going on in their labs, which is important to our contract research sales efforts. The bottom line is that as surfers we have an interest in the over all progress and prosperity of the transformational technology wave. We have no reason to keep what we know that might be of intelligence value to other investors secret. In terms of graphene we are watching a number of companies:
OVER VIEW OF THE EVOLVING GRAPHENE "INDUSTRY"
Graphene is becoming well known for all of its potential uses. However, in fact there has yet to be a commercial breakthrough application to hit the market We are tracking the different research endeavors that we can uncover and monitoring the patent office for graphene related products. We expect niche leaders to appear soon. Some may be large established firms, the big profits will be in the newer emerging leaders. There will of course be risk in these new leaders. No matter what type of wiz bang technology a company is working in, no company makes a profit without having good fundamentals like overhead control, and good price margins, and farsighted management. None of the companies discussed below should be considered as investment recommendations. But all rate watching. Graphene is a carbon allotrope, it is basically cheap and available everywhere. There is no geographic advantage related to location that we can observe as yet. If something of a "graphene valley of interactive companies ever surfaces that might change, but for now graphene product developers are all over the map. Early bets may be best relative to early patent holders but as previously mentioned that is no guarantee of success. At the moment Chinese and South Korean companies hold about 43% of the graphene related patents. U.S. companies hoild about 23% of the patents and the rest are spread across the planet with a minor concentration in the the UK. The following companies in the graphene game are in play and some available on the various stock exchanges:
AMERICAN: Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL)— Has a patent application to incorporate graphene into some of its existing MAC products. IBM (NYSE: IBM)— Reportedly has invested $3 billion in system involving graphene enhanced carbon nanotubes , is reportedly working on graphene based applications in quantum computing, has good fundamentals and certainly knows its way to the patent office. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT): This well known aerospace engineering and military contractor acquired a patent for graphene-based water filters in 2013. The company plans to have a prototype out soon which may prove an improvement over grandulated charcoal for filtering mercury out of water. FOREIGN PLAYERS: Sandisk (NASDAQ: SNDK): This South Koran manufacturer of flash memory devices owns 36 patents for graphene applications including nanometer graphene RAM
Foxconn Electronics (OTCMKTS: HNHPF) : An I phone manufacturer with 35 graphene applications patents.
Graphene Corporation aka Elcora Resources (TSX V: ERA): A Canadian company making graphene and expanding capacity.
We don't know much about Biogenic Reagents , but we have read that they are working on producing graphene from a wood feedstock vice coal. The wood version appears to have a 50% higher absorption capability indicating that the Biogenic Reagents process may become the preferred graphene source for filtration applications.
Watch for sales of patents by Roy McAlister president of the American Hydrogen Association, a non profit dedicated to hydrogen fuel cell technology. He is one of the largest patent holders for graphene related designs in America. It is anticipated that most of his patents will further hydrogen fuel cell technology, but sales might indicate that other have found additional uses for some of his patents. There is a company called Garmor for which we have no additional information at the moment. Gamor manufacturers and distributes a high volume graphene oxide. The machine is sold to other companies manufacturing graphene -oxide applications, supposedly the only by product of the process is water.
That my biped friends is about all that we know about developments in the world of graphene related products. We are still looking for the graphene related stocks that we will put in our investment portfolio. When we know more, so shortly will you. Look for more exclusive Helios Ruehls , Inc science and technology reports here in the pages of American Admiralty Books in the near future.