Spray-on graphene-based coating for improved desalination membranes

An international group of researchers, including scientists from Shinshu University in Japan and Penn State’s ATOMIC Center, created a graphene and graphene oxide-based coating for desalination membranes which are said to be more scalable and sturdier than current nanofiltration membrane technologies available.

The result of this creation would hopefully be a filter for clean water solutions, protein separation, wastewater treatment, as well as pharmaceutical and food industry applications. This membrane uses a simple spray-on technology to coat a mixture of graphene oxide and graphene in solution onto a backbone support membrane of polysulfone that is modified with polyvinyl alcohol. The team reports that even in the early stages of the development of the membrane, it can already reject 85% of salt, which is sufficient for agricultural purposes, and 96% of dye molecules.

Graphene-enhanced fluid improves solar collectors' efficiency

Researchers at the University of Lisbon's Centro de Química Estrutural have discovered that the addition of graphene to the working fluid of solar collectors helps to regain some of its lost efficiency. Solar thermal collectors are seen as a simple and inexpensive way to make use of solar energy. Pure water is an efficient heat-transfer fluid, but it must be mixed with antifreeze to prevent damage to pipes during freezing conditions, and this lowers its performance.

Graphene enhances the performance of solar collectors image

The properties of an ideal heat-transfer fluid in a solar collector include a high thermal capacity and a freezing point outside of the temperature range likely to be encountered. Unfortunately, in the case of water, satisfying the latter requirement means compromising on the former, as mixing water with antifreeze makes it a less effective carrier of heat.

Graphene Flagship team designs graphene-based terahertz absorbers

Researchers from CNR-Istituto Nanoscienze, Italy and the University of Cambridge, UK, associated with the ​Graphene Flagship, have shown that it is possible to create a terahertz saturable absorber using graphene, produced by liquid phase exfoliation and deposited by transfer coating and ink jet printing. The paper reports a terahertz saturable absorber with an order of magnitude higher absorption modulation than other devices produced to date.

Graphene based Terahertz Absorbers by Graphene Flagship image

A terahertz saturable absorber decreases its absorption of light in the terahertz range (far infrared) with increasing light intensity and has great potential for the development of terahertz lasers, with applications in spectroscopy and imaging. These high-modulation, mode-locked lasers open up many prospects in applications where short time scale excitation of specific transitions are important, such as time-resolved spectroscopy of gasses and molecules, quantum information or ultra-high speed communication.

Talga Resources' CEO: 2017 will be a turning point for graphene commercialization

Mark Thompson, Talga Australia-based technology minerals company, Talga Resources, is actively developing graphene materials and graphene-based applications across many areas, including coatings, batteries, construction materials, composites and more.

Mark Thompson, Talga's managing director, was kind enough to update us on Talga's graphene program and answer a few questions we had.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Mark. Can you quickly update us on your graphite mine operation in Sweden?

Talga has over 20 years of graphite mining potential outlined in economic studies to date and currently extracts intermittently what it needs for scale up and testing purposes. Talga mined approximately 5,000 tonnes of graphite ore during 2015-16 trial mining operations. Further extraction is not required for now but permitting for the future larger scale operations is underway.

NanoXplore finalized its RTO with Graniz Mondal and is now a public company

NanoXplore logoIn June 2017 Group NanoXplore, a Montreal-based company specializing in the production and application of graphene and its derivative materials, announced that it will merge with Graniz Modal, a public company that trades in the Canadian stock exchange (TSX: GRA.H) - to become a public company.

NanoXplore has now completed the deal, and is now trading in the TSX Venture under the ticker CVE:GRA. NanoXplore has a market capitalization of $36.3 million CAD, and Mason Graphite now holds 25% of the company. As part of the reverse merger, NanoXplore raised $9.7 million CAD.

Ionic Industries announces a process for economically mass-producing graphene micro supercapacitors

Ionic Industries recently announced a process for economically mass-producing graphene micro supercapacitors and added that its directors and key personnel have taken direct stakes in the company.

Ionic Industries' graphene supercapacitors patent image

Ionic stated that since it published the positive results on its graphene micro planar supercapacitors 2 years before, the company has been working toward developing a device that not only demonstrates similar performance but can be produced at scale to deliver an economically viable device.

Dotz Nano develops a process to use graphene quantum dots for fuel authentication

Dotz Nano has announced the successful development of a process to tag fuel derivatives with graphene quantum dots (GQDs). The technology allows GQDs to be optimally added to fuel derivatives via a patent pending method so that the GQDs cannot be easily "laundered" or "washed out" from the fuel.

The new fuel application has been said to successfully withstand various testing procedures used in international bids for fuel taggants. This was achieved by working closely with two international anti-counterfeiting/brand protection companies. Dotz Nano has also submitted a patent application on the specific tagging of fuels with GQDs.

Swinburne University and IIM announce graphene smart composites project

Imagine Intelligent Materials and Swinburne University have announced a collaborative six-month project aiming to develop graphene-reinforced smart composites. The composite will be able to report on the condition of large structures, and will have major commercial potential in the transport sector, including automotive and aerospace.

The project is supported by a $20,000 Seed grant from the university under a program, targeting “interdisciplinary projects that are aligned with the Swinburne research institutes’ external partnership and collaboration objectives”. It will combine expertise from experts in sensors, electronics engineering and aerospace manufacturing at the university.

Haydale announces proposed collaboration with Rogers Advanced Composites

Haydale logoHaydale recently announced that it has agreed heads of terms for a technical and commercial collaboration with Rogers Advanced Composites ("RAC”). RAC is developing a composites center in the UK, and this collaboration will aim to enable RAC to access Haydale’s extensive technical know-how in composites, polymers and resins and to incorporate the range of advanced graphene enhanced composites, developed by Haydale, into its existing and future projects.

RAC, which has roots in the marine and yachting world through its sister company Rogers Yacht Design, has built a strong reputation in the design and manufacture of advanced composite products. It is Haydale’s understanding that RAC is experiencing a strong demand for high quality composite solutions across a range of industrial sectors including marine, military and motor sport and that RAC is in the process of securing long term production contracts for an oil recovery project as well as several aerospace, military and motor racing projects.

Graphene takes part in $4.4 million international initiative for early diagnosis of brain cancer

The European Commission recently awarded nearly €3.7 million ($4.4 million USD) to an international initiative in the field of early diagnosis of brain cancer. The four-year program, which will be led by Plymouth University, is called An Integrated Platform for Developing Brain Cancer Diagnostic Techniques, or AiPBAND. It will focus on gliomas with specific objectives to identify new blood biomarkers for the disease, design plasmonic-based, graphene-based, and digital ELISA assay-based multiplex biosensors; and to develop a big data-empowered intelligent data management infrastructure and cloud-based diagnostic systems.

Through the initiative, which also includes partner organizations from China, an estimated 14 research fellows will be trained by academic and private sector experts from participating organizations in fields including neuroscience, engineering, healthcare, and economics. Individual research projects under the nonprofit Vitae Researcher Development Framework will be arranged into local training courses, network-wide events, secondments, and personalized career development plans with private sector involvement, according to Plymouth University.