When its properties were first discovered - graphene was supposed to be almost as cheap as the coal from which it can be made - but that was blind optimism.
Now we hear of two types of micas found in common dirt (muscovite and vermiculite) which can be processed into atomically-thin crystals of mica by simply mechanical exfoliation and ion exchange. This material is claimed to be superior to graphene as a proton conductor. The discovery could open the door for large performance boosts and lower costs in ultracaps, batteries, fuel cells as well as LENR and/or a hybrid of any of these devices. Or, once again it could be hype. But since it is a natural mineral, we should know soon what to expect fairly soon. Typically in LENR there seems to be a direct relationship between excess heat and hydrogen loading, which itself is related to proton conductivity. Monolayers of 2D graphene are highly permeable to protons but less so at high temperature and zero in bulk layers but most importantly - graphene has not been produced at an acceptable price – despite a decade of claims that it can be, unless Tesla Maxwell have made that breakthrough (as has been reported). 2D graphene is in the hundreds of dollars per gram range but needs to be 100 times cheaper for ultracaps to replace lithium ion. Here is the paper from the UK/China where the authors show that few-layer micas become excellent proton conductors when native cations are ion-exchanged for protons. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1906.04667 “Atomically-thin micas as proton conducting membranes” by L. Mogg et al. The Elon-nation can almost envision that he and the Chinese are already building a facility to produce this new material. Or else – we have another case of overhyped stories in science journalism. There are already a dozen of so headlines on this, with more to come.