A small Dayton company is riding the strength and durability of the material its founder discovered 15 years ago to new growth.
Global Graphene Group — known also as G3 — celebrated the opening of a building it acquired and refurbished at 1235 McCook Ave. Thursday.
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G3 leaders and friends also hailed the potential of the material on which it stakes its future, graphene.
G3 is the parent of three companies: Angstron Materials, Honeycomb Battery and Nanotek Instruments. Together, they work on commercializing graphene.
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“We will make a positive impact to the economic growth of Dayton, Ohio,” Bor Jang, G3 chief executive, pledged to applause at a ceremony.
The company and its more than 70 employees hail graphene as having great strength, lightness, flexibility and thermal conductivity. G3 says graphene is finding uses in new batteries, both for vehicles and phones, as well as tires, inks, lubricants, thermal films and much more.
Unfortunately, the material has been found to be expensive and difficult to work with, but G3 says it has discovered ways to hurdle over those difficulties.
Last summer, the company said it had secured the first $10 million of an investment from Western & Southern Financial Group with expectations for a total $23 million investment.
John Barrett, CEO and president of Western & Southern, expressed no doubts Thursday about the wisdom of the stake his company has taken in G3.
“We recognized that this is a top flight group of people who are doing something special, game-changing,” Barrett said.
G3 leaders see their mission as simple: Create a thriving graphene industry and make Dayton the center of it.
Jang, a former dean of the Wright State University College of Engineering and Computer Science, discovered graphene — described as a single layer of carbon atoms bound to neighboring atoms in a honeycomb structure — in 2002. Jang calls it “the next answer.”
Jeff Hoagland, Dayton Development Coalition CEO, Nan Whaley, Dayton mayor, and others, noted that G3 is located on ground that once was home to McCook Field, the U.S. Army Air Service precursor to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio’s largest single-site employer.
“It has really quite frankly changed the world, what we are doing here in Dayton, Ohio,” Whaley said.
“While G3 and Angstron are still in their early stages, we are quite excited about their potential,” said Glenn Richardson, managing director of JobsOhio, the state’s private non-profit development arm.