PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s landscape holds a hidden treasure trove – vast deposits of graphite, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Kohistan terrain and the axial belt regions. These resources offer a unique opportunity to tap into the revolutionary world of graphene, a wonder material with applications ranging from electronics to medicine.
Geologist Muhammad Yaqub Shah emphasizes the potential of these deposits, envisioning Pakistan’s transformation into a sophisticated technology producer. Graphite, the raw material for graphene, is found in metamorphic rocks like schists and gneisses, and even in organic-rich shale and coal beds. Notably, regions like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Balochistan boast significant graphite reserves.
Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms, is the thinnest and strongest material known, excelling in both thermal and electrical conductivity. It can store energy, is inherently non-magnetic, and its multi-layered forms are 200 times stronger than steel yet incredibly lightweight.
Graphene can be synthesized through various methods, including chemical vapor deposition and extraction from waste materials. Its applications are diverse, spanning energy, defense, electronics, medicine, and even desalination. Graphene’s strength makes it ideal for lightweight, durable materials, while its electrical properties enhance computing speeds and fire resistance.
The medical field stands to benefit immensely from graphene’s potential in drug delivery, disease detection, tissue engineering, and even genetic disorder treatments. The global graphene market is booming, with a projected CAGR indicating robust growth until 2030.
While the potential is undeniable, challenges exist. Pakistani experts require training and access to advanced equipment for graphene synthesis. Collaboration with nations like China could provide technical expertise and boost export potential, strengthening local industries. By addressing the challenges and leveraging partnerships, the nation can unlock the true potential of this wonder material and propel itself towards a future of technological advancement.