Graphene space balloons to bring Malaysia's rubber industry to next level — MRC

Graphene space balloons to bring Malaysia's rubber industry to next level — MRC
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KUALA LUMPUR (July 27): The invention of the aerospace balloon, the first of its kind, through the combination of graphene extract and natural rubber will bring Malaysia’s rubber industry to the next level on the world stage, said the Malaysian Rubber Council (MRC).

Chief executive officer Nor Hizwan Ahmad said the research and collaboration carried out by Meditech Gloves Sdn Bhd and Cranfield University in the United Kingdom has shown huge potential through the application of this product and findings.

“In line with the current market trend and competitive market as well as for the industry to survive, the approach to move from raw materials towards technology seem to be timely,” he told Bernama at the Malaysia International Agricommodity Expo and Summit (MIACES) 2022 here on Wednesday.

He said the evolution from plantation to the aerospace industry is a great achievement for Malaysia’s rubber industry.

Nor Hizwan also said the aerospace balloon made of graphene extract and infused into natural rubber is new in the market and patented by Levidian Nanosystems Ltd, the first company in the world to patent green graphene material.

“By infusing graphene extract into natural rubber to produce an aerospace balloon, this kind of balloon would be more cost-effective and sustainable compared to the rocket launched into space.

“Moreover, this particular balloon can be brought down once the satellite has been released from it, which is relatively tapping into sustainable technology,” he said, adding that the cost would be tenfold less than a rocket launch.

The CEO noted that the council is working closely with Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre (TARRC), a research centre under the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) in London, to commercialise the balloon.

“The research is done and ready to be launched. As of today, we are working in the final stage to produce the prototype of this aerospace balloon.

“The technology is ready and has been tested accordingly,” he said, adding that the MRC has been given a three-year time frame to commercialise the invention.

Meanwhile, at MIACES 2022 on Wednesday, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Meditech, TARRC, MRB and MRC to collaborate and commercialise graphene space balloons.

The exchange of the MoU was witnessed by Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin.