Ionic Industries, a subsidiary of Strategic Energy Resources, announced the completion of an independent marketing report on the potential of its graphene-based SuperSand product. This product is meant to be a potential substitute for activated carbon and can offer equal or better performance at a lower (or at least comparable) cost.
The report yielded positive findings that support the company's decision to make SuperSand the first of its products to be produced by its planned graphene oxide manufacturing pilot plant, for which an engineering study is almost complete (with commencement of construction of the pilot plant planned for later in 2015).
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School studied the extent to which graphene oxide is biocompatible, and discovered that it is not toxic to cells (up to a certain concentration). Graphene oxide may thus be suitable for use in medical devices and implants for next-generation biosensors, implantable electronics or even tissue engineering scaffolds.
In their tests, the scientists found that reducing the degree of graphene oxidation resulted in the material infiltrating and clearing cells faster. They also observed that after injection, the graphene oxide particles coalesced to form an implant-like material in the tested mice. The scientists' study showed that over the short term, the body responds to graphene oxide in much the same way it does to other biomaterial implants that are known to be safe.
NanoXplore announced that it is producing Graphene Oxide in industrial quantities. The Graphene Oxide is being produced in the same 3 metric tonne per year facility used to manufacture NanoXplore's standard graphene grades and derivative products such as a unique graphite-graphene composite suitable for anodes in Li-ion batteries.
Graphene Oxide (GO) is similar to graphene but with significant amounts of oxygen introduced into the graphene structure. GO, unlike graphene, can be readily mixed in water which has led people to use GO in thin films, water-based paints and inks, and biomedical applications. GO is relatively simple to synthesize on a lab scale using a modified Hummers' method, but scale-up to industrial production is quite challenging and dangerous. This is because the Hummers' method uses strong oxidizing agents in a highly exothermic reaction which produces toxic and explosive gas. NanoXplore has developed a completely new and different approach to producing GO based upon its proprietary graphene production platform. This novel production process is completely safe and environmentally friendly and produces GO in volumes ranging from kilogram to tonne quantities.
Scientists at the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) discovered that reduced graphene oxide (rGO) can be used in a unique sensor to detect a deadly cancer-causing food toxin with high sensitivity.
The toxin, Aflatoxin B1, is a common contaminant in peanuts, chillies, cottonseed meal, corn, rice and other grains. Produced by a fungus, it is a potent liver carcinogen that damages the immune system in humans and animals.
Researchers at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre in India demonstrated that graphene oxide nanoflakes can enhance the properties of artificial composites to provide supportive scaffolds that encourage bone repair.
According to the scientists, a great challenge is to design a biomaterial that should match the properties of native healthy bone, Properties like biocompatibility, chemical composition, porosity, degradation and mechanical stability that are critical in determining the success of the biomaterial. Traditional treatments for bone fractures that fail to heal spontaneously are bone grafts taken from elsewhere in the patient's body, causing pain and potential damage to the harvested site.
Researchers at China's Tsinghua University used ion-selective membranes of ultrathin graphene oxide (GO) to develop a novel, ion-selective but highly permeable separator for significantly improving both the energy density and power density of lithium-sulfur batteries. This resulted in a highly-stable and anti-self-discharge lithium-sulfur cell.
Polysulfides are materials generated at the cathode side, diffuse through the membrane, react with lithium anode, and shuttle back. During the process, polysulfides dissolve and irreversibly react with metal lithium and organic components, inducing the destruction of the cathode structure, depletion of the lithium anode, and loss of active sulfur materials. Commonly used separators in battery systems are porous polymer membranes, which separate the two electrodes while having little impact on the transportation of ions through the membrane. The researchers' design was of a GO membrane, sandwiched between cathode and anode electrodes, which efficiently prohibited the shuttle of polysulfides through the membrane.
The Spanish Graphenea, along with Russian and Spanish collaborators, have shown that adding graphene to alumina improves the ceramic's wear resistance and decreases friction. The result is expected to soon find uses in real products, as graphene and its derivatives seem to be biocompatible and in addition carry a low cost.
Alunima (an oxide of aluminium) has been long in use in biomedical applications such as load-bearing hip prostheses and dental implants, due to its high resistance to corrosion, low friction, high wear resistance and strength. This recent study describes the dry sliding behavior of a graphene/alumina composite material and compares it to regular alumina. The wear rate of the advanced composite was 50% lower than that of pure alumina, while the friction coefficient was reduced by 10%. This finding is made even more astonishing by the fact that the concentration of graphene in the final product is only 0.22% by weight. The type of graphene used for the study is Graphenea's standard graphene oxide.