Wednesday, April 18, 2018

MIT JUST DISCOVERED A WAY TO MASS PRODUCE GRAPHENE ROLLS. Now MIT is claiming they found a method to make graphene industrial and scalable

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) just announced that they have devised a method to mass produce graphene.

Why is this considered a game changer?

Because since graphene was developed as a product in the University of Manchester by two scientists in 2004, the challenge was how to mass produce. Just to show how important graphene is to the science and technology community, the two University of Manchester scientists got a Nobel Prize for their achievement.

Graphene is projected to become what plastics was in the 50s. It will revolutionize the field of construction, manufacturing, electronics, power, etc.

Here is why (reference

Graphene is 200 times stronger than steel and is very light. Imagine how graphene can change the body of cars, airplanes, military equipment. They will become stronger but much lighter.

It is so light that if you cover the whole United States with a layer of graphene, you would need only around 2,000 tons of graphene and that would be a bullet proof cover.

It has a high electrical conductivity: Which means it can carry electricity at greatly reduced energy loss.

It also has a high electronic conductivity: Which means using it would mean faster computer chips that consume less power.

Because it is thin, only one atom thick, it is transparent. Imagine, you have a bullet proof vest that is transparent. Imagine how it would help protect soldiers and policemen with vests 200 times stronger than steel!

Zillion other products that can be made using super light and super strong graphene:  "...most exciting of all, is the likelihood that we'll develop all kinds of brand-new, currently unimaginable technologies that take advantage of graphene's amazing properties. In the 20th century, plastics didn't simply replace older materials such as metal and wood: for better or worse, they completely changed our culture into one where disposability and convenience overtook durability. If graphene lead us to ultra-light, ultra-thin, strong, transparent, optically and electrically conducting materials, who knows what possibilities might lie ahead. How about super-lightweight clothes made of graphenes, wired to batteries, that change color at the flick of a switch? Or an emergency house built for disaster areas, with graphene walls so strong and light that you can fold it up and carry it in a backpack?"

Roilo: Now MIT is claiming they found a method to make graphene industrial and scalable. Our world will change soon. Quick filtration of water from the bay to produce unlimited supply of drinkable water. Graphene for bodies of cars and planes and ships. Graphenes for buildings. And in the future the space elevator using graphene cable. Future Nobel awards here.

MIT may have just solved how to mass-produce graphene

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone
Image: plotplot/Shutterstock
If graphene is to go mainstream, it needs to be mass-produced, which is where a new breakthrough from MIT comes in.
The word graphene is enough to stoke the interest of anyone working in the materials science space but, since its discovery at the beginning of the millennium, its use has rarely left the lab.
This is because, even though the atom-thick layer of graphite promises ultra-conductivity and flexibility for a multitude of different uses, it is very expensive to produce.
However, a recent breakthrough achieved by a team from MIT could help us break through the cost barrier, similar to what we have today in the production of aluminium.
According to MIT News, the team has demonstrated a continuous manufacturing process that produces long strips of high-quality graphene.
This would make it the first demonstration of an industrial, scalable method for manufacturing high-quality graphene tailored for use in membranes using a variety of molecules including salts, larger ions, proteins or nanoparticles.
Pinpointing what uses such a manufacturing method could have, the team said it would be ideal for desalination and biological separation in particular, but not limited to those.
To achieve the breakthrough, the team led by the director of the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity at MIT, John Hart, turned to a common industrial manufacturing process for thin foils, known as the roll-to-roll approach.
This is then combined with the common graphene fabrication technique of chemical vapour deposition, whereby copper foil is fed into a heated tube before mixing with methane and hydrogen gas, creating a layer of graphene foil.

‘Like a continuous bed of pizza’

“Graphene starts forming in little islands, and then those islands grow together to form a continuous sheet,” Hart said.
“By the time it’s out of the oven, the graphene should be fully covering the foil in one layer, kind of like a continuous bed of pizza.”
The results of the experiments showed that the process could produce graphene at 5cm per minute, with its longest run lasting for almost four hours, producing 10 metres of continuous graphene.
Hart added that if it were running in a factory 24/7, it would be able to essentially create a printing press of the so-called wonder material.
The next step is to see how the team can include polymer casting, as well as other methods that are currently performed by hand, in the roll-to-roll system.
“For now, we’ve demonstrated that this process can be scaled up, and we hope this increases confidence and interest in graphene-based membrane technologies, and provides a pathway to commercialisation,” he said.
Colm Gorey is a journalist with

Graphene-based water filter produces drinkable water in just one step

Scientists at Australian research centre CSIRO have used graphene to create a simple filtration system that could change the lives of millions in the developing world by making the process of purifying water faster and more effective.
The team at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation(CSIRO) in Sydney developed the system as an alternative to existing processes that they described as being time-consuming, expensive and unable to cope with common contaminants such as oil and detergents.
Graphene water filter
"Conventional water-filter membranes used in water purification are made from polymers and cannot handle a diverse mix of contaminants," said the scientists.
"They clog or allow contaminants to pass through, so they have to be separated out before the water is filtered. This technology can create clean drinking water, regardless of how dirty it is, in a single step."
Because of its simplicity, the team believes that their graphene-based filter, which is able to purify and desalinate water without the multi-stage processes currently needed, could help billions of people around the world who don't have access to safe drinking water.
The system employs a film made from a thin layer of graphene, called Graphair, which allows water to pass through microscopic nanochannels in its surface while stopping pollutants with larger molecules.

Glorious graphene and its revolutionary applications for construction

Long-heralded as a 'wonder material', graphene is set to make waves in a new generation of construction materials that will touch every aspect of our daily lives.
01 March 2017
Graphene has a ticklist of desirable properties that firmly cement its reputation as a true 'material of the future'. It's just about the strongest, thinnest, lightest, conductive material ever discovered and it's set to revolutionise the world in which we live. But what does graphene mean for construction? We explore the potential applications.

What is graphene?

Graphene is a single layer of tightly packed carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal honeycomb lattice. It's incredibly thin - at just one atom thick, it's the strongest compound ever discovered. It also lays claim to being the best conductor of heat at room temperature and is the best conductor of electricity ever known. It's also transparent and light. Oh, and did we mention it's reported to be around 100 times stronger than steel by weight? Little wonder then that the stuff has earnt something of a reputation as a 'wonder material' with the potential to revolutionise our daily lives. 

What are the potential applications?

A little over a decade after the substance was sucessfully isolated, by scientists at the University of Manchester, graphene products are starting to become science-fact. The potential applications are many and varied though early research has reaped most rewards in the electronics industry. 
Here we single out some of the areas where graphene technologies are set to have the biggest impact - from walls to lighting to touch panels, generators and batteries, sensors and solar panels...

1. Protective paints

The theory: Combine graphene with oxygen and you create graphene oxide. Add the substance to paints and you get an amazingly effective protective layer which could have a major impact on corrosion by providing protection from the air, weather or corrosive chemicals. 
The applications: As well as helping to prevent corrosion there's potential to make paints that don't crack, are resistant to water and oil, are scratch-resistant or serve as thermal or electrical conductors. Potential applications for graphene-infused paints are almost limitless - from steel-framed buildings to the hulls of ships to the essential supports keeping our bridges and oil rigs intact to coating non-stick frying pans or kitchen countertops.

The reality: Spanish firm Graphenano launched a paint made from a graphene powder and limestone powder in 2014 and many other companies are exploring the potential including Akzo Nobel in tandem with Manchester University researchers.

2. Superb screens

The theory: Strong, flexible and able to conduct electricity - all properties that combine to make graphene an ideal substance for touchscreens and panels.

The applications:
 It's no surprise to see mobile phone and wearable manufacturers like Samsung already exploring the potential of graphene-based touchscreens. Scale up the technology and you imagine a world where, as costs come down, entire windows could become interactive displays, our walls become 'televisions', and our fridges allow for internet ordering right from the door.

The reality: 
Cost concerns currently make graphene too expensive to be used in mass-market touch-screens while competing with existing LCD or OLED screens on quality. 
Graphene has earnt something of a reputation as a 'wonder material' with the potential to revolutionise our daily lives. 

3. Spray-on-solar panels

The theory: Graphene is transparent and conductive making it an ideal material to use as a photovoltaic cell. Scientists believe that a solar cell (potentially even a cell sprayed on to a surpface) made from the substance could double the amount of energy converted in a traditional solar panel.

The applications: The potential to harvest solar power more efficiently and without the need for costly and cumbersome panels.

The reality: Researchers are exploring how the electrical current produced inside a cell can be collected as early trials have not been particularly effective in this regard.

4. Stronger self-cleaning concrete

The theory: Adding graphene to a concrete mix could increase the substance's strength and there's potential to improve the appearance and environmental performance. Not only would a graphene-infused concrete clean itself it would also create a wider catalytic environment, breaking down harmful molecules into harmless compounds, thereby improving the quality of the surrounding air.
The applications: Can be used anywhere concrete would traditionally be used, with particular benefit in environmentally challenging areas where there's the potential to improve the environment and reduce ongoing cleaning costs.
The reality: Graphene-strengthened concrete is likely some way off but researchers are already exploring the potential for self-cleaning or environmentally-improving concrete.

5. More efficient LED light bulbs

The theory: The heat from LED bulbs can be dissipated using graphene making them brighter. This means a lower wattage bulb will have the same effect as a higher wattage regular LED bulb, reducing the amount of energy needed to achieve the same levels of luminance. These new kinds of bulb are also said to have super-long lifespans reducing ongoing FM costs to supply and fit new bulbs. Manufacturing costs are also said to be reduced.
The applications: An alternative technology that can be used in any situation where bulbs are currently deployed - particularly in areas where easy access to replace failed devices might prove tricky or as part of a general scheme to reduce maintenance costs.
The reality: Expected to prove popular LED bulbs with graphene are expected to be commercially available via a University of Manchester spinout - Graphene Lighting PLC - in the near future.

6. Stronger, longer-lasting steel

The theory: Said to be 200 times stronger than steel, adding graphene coatings to steel seems like an ideal way to increase the strength of one of the most prevalent construction materials. A graphene coating will also significantly reduce the damage that can be caused to steel structures by water, chemicals and the elements.
The applications: Right across the construction industry, wherever steel components are used.
The reality: Extensive testing will be required before graphene can be used and applied to a structural material but the potential in this area is significant.

Where next for graphene?

The range of activity in so many areas that will impact on construction in the space of just over a decade is further proof of graphene's status as a 'wonder-material'. The next decade is likely to be instrumental in seeing some key applications realised commercially and being adopted by the mass market. We can't wait to see the results.


Scientists used to make graphene-based membranes in small batches in a laboratory. But a new breakthrough at MIT enables researchers to spool out long rolls of high-quality graphene. The continuous manufacturing process can produce five centimeters of high-quality graphene per minute. The longest run was nearly four hours, and it generated around 10 meters of continuous graphene.
MIT is calling the development “the first demonstration of an industrial, scalable method for manufacturing high-quality graphene that is tailored for use in membranes that filter a variety of molecules.” These membranes could be utilized in biological separation or desalination, for example. The researchers drew from the common industrial roll-to-roll approach blended with chemical vapor deposition, a common graphene-fabrication technique.
Their system is comprised of two spools linked by a conveyor belt, which runs through a furnace. According to MIT, here’s how it works: “The first spool unfurls a long strip of copper foil, less than one centimeter wide. When it enters the furnace, the foil is fed through first one tube and then another, in a ‘split-zone’ design. While the foil rolls through the first tube, it heats up to a certain ideal temperature, at which point it is ready to roll through the second tube, where the scientists pump in a specified ratio of methane and hydrogen gas, which are deposited onto the heated foil to produce graphene.”
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, graphene, roll-to-roll system, manufacturing process, manufacturing
MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering John Hart said, “In the end-to-end process, we would need to integrate more operations into the manufacturing line. For now, we’ve demonstrated that this process can be scaled up, and we hope this increases confidence and interest in graphene-based membrane technologies, and provides a pathway to commercialization.”
The journal Applied Materials and Interfaces recently published the work; scientists from Vanderbilt University, the California Institute of Technology and the National University of Singaporecontributed.

No comments:

Post a Comment