Producing Graphene Filaments

In March 2019, Graphene 3D Lab (GGG:  TSX-V) completed a private placement of 9.4 million units of its common stock and warrants at CA$0.06 per unit to raise CA$525,000 in new capital.  The proceeds will be used for working capital and the company begins commercial sales of its graphene conductive filament.  The filaments are designed for three-dimensional printing of electronic circuitry, sensor or radio frequency shielding. The company is under new management that just took the helm in November 2018.  Earlier new sales leadership in sales had been added to accelerate market penetration.  The team is quick to tell potential customers and investors about its products, but...

Graphene Nanoplatlets

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM:  LSE) has developed a process for high-volume production of graphene nanoplatelets or ‘stacks of two-dimensional graphene sheets that can be used in coatings, composites and polymers.  The attributes of nanoplatelets are not as impressive as the single layer of carbon atoms that scientists work with on their laboratory benches.  However, nanoplatelets ‘play’ better than single atoms, dispersing more easily into other materials.  Applied’s management says the promise of graphene is better achieved by being practical in transferring its characteristics to other high value materials. Applied’s graphene nanoplatelets are used in a range of products:  paints, coatings, polymers, composites, thermal pastes, and lubricants.  In...
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Making Graphene Powder

The largest producer of graphene material in Canada is NanoXplore, Inc. (GRA:  TSX-V) with its patented technology to produce graphene powders. The company has capacity to produce 25 metric tons per year in a facility that could be modified to 70 metric tons per year. Early on the company got a boost from Canada’s government with a CA$3.3 million project to reduce the footprint of electric-motor-driven systems using graphene-enhanced engineering plastics.  The project was aimed at support development and adoption of electric vehicles. At the beginning of 2019, NanoXplore raised US$31 million in new capital through a private placement of debt to a group of institutional...

Producing Graphene Materials

Build up of the graphene materials industry has progressed a bit more slowly than originally expected a decade ago as scientists and engineers peered through their electron microscopes at single atoms of carbon and counted their many attributes.  At the time the potential to improve performance in end products like metal alloys and electronics seemed limitless.   Unfortunately, reality has not imitated early dreams.  Those companies that have brought graphene to the commercial market will attest to the challenges of jumping off the laboratory bench and into a factory. Even more frustrating is the sourcing of graphene to use in research, product development and...
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Graphene-Based Materials

The previous post “Miracle Material” acknowledged the fallout of many of the companies that a decade ago had set out to commercialize that extraordinary form of carbon called graphene.  It is a single atom thick but is a couple hundred times stronger than steel, showing promise for an ultra-lightweight material that could unprecedented performance. Unfortunately, developers found out carbon atoms do not behave as well in a production process as they might on a scientist’s laboratory bench. There are several companies that with perseverance and tenacity have been successful in bringing graphene into our lives. Off the Bench Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD:  LSE) offers a mix...
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Graphene, Miracle Material

In 2010, when two physicists, Andre Greim and Konstantin Novoselov, won the Nobel Prize for Physics to recognize their work with carbon atoms, there were over 3,000 different companies with ongoing projects to develop commercial materials using their ‘graphene’ breakthrough.  With its hexagon structure of individual carbon atoms, graphene was expected to find applications in so many products, from semiconductors to turbine blades to car tires.  That is because this ‘miracle material’ is the strongest known to man.  Yes, even stronger than its carbon cousin the diamond.  Nine years later most of the throng has fallen by the wayside. Nonetheless, graphene is no bust.  At...

Skin In The Game

Specialty retailers are also joining the packaging revolution.  REN Clean Skincare is a good example of a retailer that is making environmentally-friendly packaging part of its offering.  The company kicked off the campaign with a splashing Earth Day celebration featuring its new partner, the Surfrider Foundation.  The campaign was aimed at making REN customers aware of the need to conserve water and keep beaches clean and plastic-free. The company is selling some of its skincare products in bottles made from plastic reclaimed from the ocean.  The bottle is part of REN’s Clean to Planet initiative to become a 100% zero waste company by 2021.  The bottle...
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Hasbro: Super Heroes Go ‘Green’

Captain Marvel will arrive in a plant-based box if toy manufacturer Hasbro, Inc. (HAS: NYSE)carries out its plans.  A year ago the toy maker pledged to use plant-based PET (polythylene terephthalate) or BioPET for at least 30% of the blister packs and plastic windows used to ship and display everyone’s favorite super heroes. This is not the first of Hasbro’s attempts at more responsible packaging.  By 2015, the company was using recycled and sustainably sourced paper for 90% of its packaging and in-box content.  Additionally, by 2016, Hasbro had already begun using recycled PET, eliminating the use of additional fossil fuels and removing plastic...

Kroger: Not All That’s Green is Environmentally Friendly

The Kroger Company (KR:  NYSE) has been around since the late 1800s.  It has developed into a major retailer of a broad range of food products in its supermarkets that also feature specialty sections such as pet centers, electronics, apparel, toys, and pharmacies.  Kroger stock is selling at a bargain multiple of 6.6 times trailing earnings.  The 2.0% current dividend yield is icing on Kroger’s cake. Kroger is distinguished among other grocery retailers with its pledge to achieve zero waste.  The company is aiming to recycle or reuse at least 90% of its waste.  Sustainable product packaging is a central part of its zero waste plan.  For example,...
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Nestlé: Going Green Swiss Style

As a Peace Corps volunteer on islands in Micronesia it was a delightful to adopt the islanders’ use of banana leaves for everything from baking a sweet potato to serving a picnic lunch to storing leftovers.   The giant banana trees in the garden were so convenient.  Moreover, the banana leaf could not be beat for environmental friendliness.  Once used, the leaves were tossed aside to become mulch for the garden. Of course, back in the U.S.A. it is not practical to rely on banana leaves to wrap a Big Mac at MacDonald’s or ship electronics from Amazon.com. Nonetheless, there must be something better than...

Does The Beyond Meat IPO Spell The End Of The Cow?

by Jim Lane It’s Thanksgiving week in the United States but we are feasting alternatively on acronyms here in Digestville. I.E., e.g., ICYMI, BYND IPO PDQ, and FYI Perfect Day AKA Muufri JDA w/ ADM. As they said at Bletchley Park, let’s get out the Enigma machine and decode. In New York and California this week, the nutrition side of industrial biotechnology — and specifically, the “beyond the cow moovement is, ahem, mooving faster with news that Beyond Meat has filed for its IPO and Perfect Day has inked a Joint Development Agreement with Archer Daniels Midland(ADM) to scale up the production of dairy proteins using fermentation...

Five Last Minute Gifts For The Environmental Anti-Materialist

What do you get for the person who hates stuff? My family has this problem every year. As a somewhat rabid environmentalist, I think of stuff as part of the problem. I'm not a big fan of clutter, either. So I always have mixed feelings when I receive gifts. No matter how useful, I can't help but thinking about all the resources that were used to make it. Not to mention wondering where I'm going to put it. You may have someone in your family who feels the same way, for whatever reason. Here are five of the best gifts I've...

Trex: While The Sun Shines

by Debra Fiakas CFA It appears to be the ‘summer of the small-cap’ as performance in the sector outpaces other sectors on the first day of summer 2016.  In keeping with the adage “make hay while the sun shines”, we shifted into a higher gear to find promising small companies that might participate in the small-cap renaissance.  Trex Company (TREX:  Nasdaq) bubbled to the top of a couple different screens based on growth and return.  There is much to like in a company delivering strong growth.  A bargain price is just icing on the cake.  With a ratio...

Water Utilities Keeping The Flow In Cash Flow

Fiakas Water Utilities Keeping The Flow In Cash Flow by Debra Fiakas CFA After a long series of posts on suppliers of water infrastructure, from fire hydrants to filters and from taps to treatments, it is now time to look at the companies selling water.  The majority of water utilities is owned by municipalities and is beyond the reach of investors.  However, there is a clutch of publicly traded companies that peddle water as a business. Which water utilities make sense to return hungry and risk wary investors? A short...

Water Gleaner Stocks: Value In Sludge

by Debra Fiakas CFA There are well over 3,000 companies around the world that are involved in some element of wastewater treatment, providing a broad mix of technology, equipment or engineering services to generators and collectors of fouled water.  A small group in this wide field is gaining visibility  -  the ‘water gleaners.’  Like the peasant women picking up stray grains of wheat left behind in the empty field of Millets famous painting, some see value in effluents, sewage and run-off.  In this post we look at three small-companies with novel technologies to harvest water. New Sky...

Water Treatment Stocks

by Debra Fiakas CFA In a game of word association many investors might respond Veolia Environmental SA (VIE:  P or VEOEY:  OTC/PK) at the mention ‘water reclamation.’  General Electric (GE:  NYSE) and Siemens (SIE:  DE or SIEGY: OTC/PK) might be next choices.  These three companies have been ‘go to’ sources for water treatment by municipalities and industry. Indeed, it may take a behemoth to address water issues.  In January 2015, the World Economic Forum declared water as the number one crisis impacting the world, recognizing the dire circumstances of water supplies.  Over 660 million people  -  one...