The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Office (CSIRO) has developed a novel method that uses soybean oil and other waste oils to produce graphene. Called ‘GraphAir’, the method is said to make graphene production faster and simpler.
The “GraphAir” technology is considered simple as it eliminates the need for a highly controlled environment and grows graphene in ambient air. “This ambient-air process for graphene fabrication is fast, simple, safe, potentially scalable, and integration-friendly,” CSIRO researchers said. “Our unique technology is expected to greatly reduce the cost of graphene production and drastically improve the uptake of graphene in new applications.”
The graphene made by the CSIRO is composed of soybean and waste oils, which is cheaper to make than traditional graphene. Soybean oil, with heat, breaks down into a range of carbon building units that are essential for the synthesis of graphene. The team also transformed other types of renewable and even waste oil groups, such as those leftover from barbecues or cooking, into low-cost graphene films.
The CSIRO is looking for industry partners in order to find new uses for graphene, including replacing gold and silver in solar cells with graphene, extending battery life in energy devices and using graphene as an anti-toxic, anti-corrosion coating.