Forget chemicals, catalysts and expensive machinery — a Kansas State University team of physicists has discovered a way to mass-produce graphene with three ingredients: hydrocarbon gas, oxygen and a spark plug.
Their method is simple: Fill a chamber with acetylene or ethylene gas and oxygen. Use a vehicle spark plug to create a contained detonation. Collect the graphene that forms afterward.
Chris Sorensen, Cortelyou-Rust university distinguished professor of physics, is the lead inventor of the recently issued patent, “Process for high-yield production of graphene via detonation of carbon-containing material.” Other Kansas State University researchers involved include Arjun Nepal, postdoctoral researcher and instructor of physics, and Gajendra Prasad Singh, former visiting scientist.
“We have discovered a viable process to make graphene,” Sorensen said. “Our process has many positive properties, from the economic feasibility, the possibility for large-scale production and the lack of nasty chemicals. What might be the best property of all is that the energy required to make a gram of graphene through our process is much less than other processes because all it takes is a single spark.”
Graphene is a single atom-thick sheet of hexagonally coordinated carbon atoms, which makes it the world’s thinnest material. Since graphene was isolated in 2004, scientists have found it has valuable physical and electronic properties with many possible applications, such as more efficient rechargeable batteries or better electronics.
For Sorensen’s research team, the serendipitous path to creating graphene started when they were developing and patenting carbon soot aerosol gels. They created the gels by filling a 17-liter aluminum chamber with acetylene gas and oxygen. Using a spark plug, they created a detonation in the chamber. The soot from the detonation formed aerosol gels that looked like “black angel food cake,” Sorensen said.
But after further analysis, the researchers found that the aerosol gel was more than lookalike dark angel food cake — it was graphene.
“We made graphene by serendipity,” Sorensen said. “We didn’t plan on making graphene. We planned on making the aerosol gel and we got lucky.”
But unlike other methods of creating graphene, Sorensen’s method is simple, efficient, low-cost and scalable for industry.
Other methods of creating graphene involve “cooking” the mineral graphite with chemicals — such as sulfuric acid, sodium nitrate, potassium permanganate or hydrazine — for a long time at precisely prescribed temperatures. Additional methods involve heating hydrocarbons to 1,000 degrees Celsius in the presence of catalysts.
Such methods are energy intensive — and even dangerous — and have low yield, while Sorensen and his team’s method makes larger quantities with minimal energy and no dangerous chemicals.
“The real charm of our experiment is that we can produce graphene in the quantity of grams rather than milligrams,” Nepal said.
Now the research team — including Justin Wright, doctoral student in physics, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania — is working to improve the quality of the graphene and scale the laboratory process to an industrial level. They are upgrading some of the equipment to make it easier to get graphene from the chamber seconds — rather than minutes — after the detonation. Accessing the graphene more quickly could improve the quality of the material, Sorensen said.
The patent was issued to the Kansas State University Research Foundation, a nonprofit corporation responsible for managing technology transfer activities at the university.
Arjun Nepal, Kansas State University postdoctoral researcher and instructor of physics, describes a special process of mass-producing graphene.
Receive an email update when we add a new GRAPHENE PRODUCTION article.
The Latest on: Graphene production
via Google News
The Latest on: Graphene production
- Global Nanoscale Smart Materials Market 2019 In-Depth Analysis And Technological Advancements: Graphene Supermarket, 2D Semiconductor and Acs Materialon August 16, 2019 at 2:36 am
The postGlobal Nanoscale Smart Materials Market 2019 In-Depth Analysis And Technological Advancements: Graphene Supermarket ... local coverage, production price trends, and production cost ...
- Samsung's New Graphene Battery Tech To Fully Charge Phones In Less Than 30 Minson August 16, 2019 at 1:45 am
However, graphene cells are claimed to be extremely expensive and can easily spike the prices of mobile devices. The task before Samsung and Huawei is to raise battery cell capacities and to lower the ...
- Stronger graphene oxide 'paper' made with weaker unitson August 15, 2019 at 3:12 am
The finding will aid the production of higher quality GO materials ... can be used to make the two-dimensional, super material graphene. Since GO is easier to make, scientists study it as a ...
- Samsung is developing a graphene battery for its smartphoneson August 13, 2019 at 11:51 pm
However, the many promises surrounding graphene have yet to translate into mass produced products. This could be about to change if Samsung launch their new battery shortly, although, as Mashable ...
- Samsung might launch a phone with a fast-charging graphene battery next yearon August 13, 2019 at 5:18 am
According to Blass, in order for Samsung's graphene battery to become viable as a smartphone battery, the company still needs to find ways to raise its capacity and lower cost of production.
- Samsung looking to deliver a graphene battery smartphone within two yearson August 13, 2019 at 4:01 am
When Samsung introduced a battery technology using graphene to make lithium-ion batteries last longer, everyone was praising and welcoming the future, despite the astronomical cost of production, ...
- Innovative technique to synthesise advanced graphene-based nanocompositeson August 9, 2019 at 1:55 am
The GRAPHEEN pilot plant used the Gnanomat patented, environmentally-friendly and safe-single step technique for the production of advanced graphene-based nanocomposites. The scale-up process is ...
- ZEN Graphene Solutions Provides Grant Program and Environmental Baseline Study Updateon August 8, 2019 at 5:07 am
The grantor will reimburse up to a maximum of $1,000,000 spent by ZEN on eligible expenses directly related to graphite purification, graphene production research, concrete additive research and large ...
- Graphene technology provides clean water to remote school in Nepal | IDTechEx Research Articleon August 6, 2019 at 3:44 pm
STANDARD GRAPHENE has just finalized raising USD$12m of its first institutional funding to extend the production lines and set up a Joint Venture. The company has built its first graphene mass ...
via Bing News