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Scientists Discover Method to Mass Produce Graphene, Major Boost for Renewable Energy

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US Scientists have figured out a way to mass produce the nanomaterial graphene, opening the door to significant advances in the storage of hydrogen, as well as the electricity produced by solar and wind energy.

Graphene, produced by reducing graphite down to a sheet only one atom thick, is one of the strongest materials known to man. It has been shown to have huge potential for hydrogen and renewable energy storage, but up until now has been held back by a lack of supply. Now the team, based at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA, have discovered a method of producing graphene sheets in large quantities.

The research team, led by UCLA professors Yang Yang and Henry Samueli, developed a process where graphite oxide paper is placed in a pure hydrazine solution, reducing the paper into single-layer graphene. According to co-researcher Vincent Tung, “We have discovered a route toward solution processing of large-scale graphene sheets…by far the largest produced. These breakthroughs represent the future of graphene nanoelectronic research.”

More information on the team’s findings are available in a study published online on Nov. 9 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Image Credit – vitroid via flickr.com on a Creative Commons license

 
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Written By

is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.

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