HydroGraph Clean Power Inc. has announced it will open a new commercial scale manufacturing plant in Manhattan, Kansas. The facility will produce graphene — nanomaterial used by a wide range of industries — and hydrogen for alternative-energy fuels.
Stuart Jara, chief executive officer of HydroGraph, said the location was a strategic choice.
“The close proximity of our manufacturing facility to our research partners at Kansas State University will help us maintain our competitive advantage with a virtuous cycle between our commercial production and continuing R&D.”
HydroGraph — which was publicly listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange in 2021 — formed after collaborating with K-State researchers for many years. In 2017, HydroGraph exclusively licensed the patented detonation process discovered by Chris Sorensen, Cortelyou-Rust university distinguished professor and university distinguished teaching scholar at K-State. According to Jara, Sorensen’s method produces the most consistent, high-quality and cost-effective graphene available on the market and has the lowest environmental footprint. The exclusive license was coordinated by K-State Innovation Partners.
“Watching the research grow from a patentable discovery to an international company has been an exciting and rewarding process,” said Aarushi Gupta, licensing associate with K-State Innovation Partners. “The global impact our world-class researchers have is truly incredible.”
Production is scheduled to begin in the Manhattan pilot-scale facility as early as fall 2022. The location has been established in an existing building in Pottawatomie County. Over the next five years, the company plans to expand to a larger production facility and create more than 100 high-paying jobs in the Manhattan region.
“HydroGraph is the type of company we want to attract to Kansas, and we are thrilled they chose Manhattan as their new home,” said Lt. Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland. “International investment and innovation-based growth are important economic drivers for Kansas, and we are proud to partner with HydroGraph to grow the innovation ecosystem in the state.”
“As part of the university’s Economic Prosperity Plan, we have committed to bringing thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in new investment into the state,” said David Rosowsky, K-State vice president for research. “The establishment of this facility in Manhattan is a testament to K-State’s ability to be a powerful economic driver for the state of Kansas.”
K-State Innovation Partners and Manhattan’s Knowledge Based Economic Development, or KBED, partnership facilitated the company’s manufacturing presence in the region.
“This project aligns with our community’s economic development strategies to drive innovation and entrepreneurship and is a prime example of how targeted economic growth can work when university, community and industry partners come together behind a common goal,” said Jason Smith, president/CEO of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce and chair of the KBED board.