Researchers at the University of Singapore (NUS) found a new viable process to produce graphene more efficiently. The common method of production is very complex and expensive. Therefore, the researchers found a way to produce graphene by using 50 times less solvent.
By exfoliation of pre-treated graphite the researchers found a way to form graphene slurry under highly alkaline conditions. This so-called “flocculation” process concludes electrostatic repulsive forces, which help prevent the graphene layers to reattach easily. Simultaneously the volume of the solvent does not increase.
The slurry can be separated easily into monolayers when required or can be stored for later times. On top of that it is able to create conductive graphene aerogels after being 3D-printed. This ultralight sponge material is able to remove oil spill in the sea.
Professor Loh Kian Ping from the Department of Chemistry at NUS Faculty of Science explains: “We have successfully demonstrated a unique exfoliation strategy for preparing high quality graphene and its composites. Our technique, which produces a high yield of crystalline graphene in the form of a concentrated slurry with a significantly smaller volume of solvent, is an attractive solution for industries to carry out large scale synthesis of this promising material in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.”
Source: National University of Singapore
Image Source: Centre of Advanced 2D Materials NUS | nus.edu.sg