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New Cost-effective Way for Graphene Production Using Eucalyptus Trees

Published on 2019-06-25. Author : SpecialChem

TAGS:  Biobased Solutions     Polymer Reinforcement    

gum-tree-for-graphene Researchers have developed a cost-effective and eco-friendly way of producing graphene using one of Australia’s most abundant resources, eucalyptus trees.

Cheaper and more Sustainable Synthesis Method


Graphene is the thinnest and strongest material known to humans. It’s also flexible, transparent and conducts heat and electricity 10 times better than copper, making it ideal for anything from flexible nanoelectronics to better fuel cells.

The new approach by researchers from RMIT University (Australia) and the National Institute of Technology, Warangal (India), uses Eucalyptus bark extract and is cheaper and more sustainable than current synthesis methods.

Increasing Graphene Availability to Industries Globally


RMIT lead researcher, Distinguished Professor Suresh Bhargava, said the new method could reduce the cost of production from USD 100 per gram to a staggering USD 0.5 per gram.

“Eucalyptus bark extract has never been used to synthesize graphene sheets before and we are thrilled to find that it not only works, it’s in fact a superior method, both in terms of safety and overall cost,” said Bhargava.

“Our approach could bring down the cost of making graphene from around USD 100 per gram to just 50 cents, increasing it availability to industries globally and enabling the development of an array of vital new technologies.”

Distinctive Features


graphene-eucalyptus-tree-based

Graphene’s distinctive features make it a transformative material that could be used in the development of flexible electronics, more powerful computer chips and better solar panels, water filters and bio-sensors.

Professor Vishnu Shanker from the National Institute of Technology, Warangal, said the ‘green’ chemistry avoids the use of toxic reagents, potentially opening the door to the application of graphene not only for electronic devices but also biocompatible materials.

“Working collaboratively with RMIT’s Centre for Advanced Materials and Industrial Chemistry we’re harnessing the power of collective intelligence to make a lot more useful discoveries,” he said.

A Novel Approach to Graphene Synthesis


Chemical reduction is the most common method for synthesizing graphene oxide as it allows for the production of graphene at a low cost in bulk quantities.

This method however relies on reducing agents that are dangerous to both people and the environment.


Source: RMIT University
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