How concerned should we be about graphene's toxicity?

The potential toxicity of graphene and graphene oxide has been on people's minds lately. This is an area that has always received some attention, but recently there have been rumors and wild speculations about the adoption of graphene oxide and the risks involved.

Grapene toxicity poll results (August 2021)

Researchers have been studying the toxicity of graphene and graphene oxide for many years. While these materials have not yet been established as completely safe for use, there are quite a few research results that indicate that graphene can be relatively safe under the appropriate conditions.

ESC and Evercloak to collaborate on project to build pilot-scale commercial production of graphene-based membranes

Environmental Systems Corporation (ESC) and Evercloak have announced a new CAD$4.6 million (around USD$3.64 million) collaborative project to build up to pilot-scale commercial production of graphene-based membranes. The project will be funded by Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) from the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada.

"This is a very exciting time for us. This collaboration represents a crucial building block towards net-zero by the year 2030 by reducing energy processes for cleanrooms. We are very excited to work with Evercloak and NGen on this initiative," said Vern Solomon, Founder/ Innovator of ESC.

Graphenea Foundry: a platform for the manufacture of graphene-based devices

This is a sponsored post by Graphenea

Graphenea’s Semiconductor catalogue spans from 1x1 cm2 single layer graphene films on a variety of substrates, to fully customized graphene-based device architectures implemented on wafers up to 150mm. The unique vertical integration that Graphenea offers, that covers the graphene growth, its transfer, its device fabrication and post-processing, allows Graphenea to have full control of the manufacturing process, continuously monitoring this through quality control processes and checkpoints.

GFET wafers (Graphenea)

Graphenea Foundry offers three products and services, which cover all the graphene needs one may have.

Calling out to graphene product developers - share your story!

After years of intensive R&D efforts, and a slow trickle of graphene devices, we are finally starting to see wider adoption of graphene in many applications. Graphene-enhanced products are entering many markets, including wearables, sensors, audio equipment, medical devices, sports equipment, construction materials and more.

Graphene application types

But using graphene is still a challenge, as adopting the material in the right way in your process is not trivial. In addition, there are many graphene types, each with its own properties, and dozens of different graphene producers (link to the graphene catalog?) each with its own material. Choosing the right material is critical to a graphene project success. Finally, as with many material technologies, these kinds of projects take time and effort to achieve the right results.

Graphene Manufacturing Group to raise $8 million in a public offering

Australia-based Graphene Manufacturing Group (GMG) announced that it is undertaking an overnight marketed public offering of units of the Company, for gross proceeds of up to CDN$10 million ($8 million USD).

GMG says that the proceeds will be used to develop a commercial coin cell graphene aluminum-ion battery prototype, front end design and commence building of a battery manufacturing facility (subject to a successful prototype and a final investment decision) and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Graphene-enhanced pools by Aquatic Leisure Technologies hit the market

Aquatic Leisure Technologies (ALT) recently announced the world’s first commercial range of graphene-enhanced GFRP swimming pools. This follows June 2020's announcement of First Graphene (FGR) entering an agreement with Aquatic Leisure Technologies to supply PureGRAPH products for development of pool innovations.

Graphene Nano-Tech pools, which ALT claims are lighter, stronger and more durable than traditional GFRP pools, are manufactured using a process that combines graphene-infused resin with traditional GFRP fabrication.

Chalmers team develops a graphene-based material that kills bacteria on implants

Researchers at Chalmers University have developed a new method to prevent infections relating to medical implants, by covering a graphene-based material with bactericidal molecules.

“Through our research, we have succeeded in binding water-insoluble antibacterial molecules to the graphene, and having the molecules release in a controlled, continuous manner from the material. This is an essential requirement for the method to work. The way in which we bind the active molecules to the graphene is also very simple, and could be easily integrated into industrial processes,” explains Santosh Pandit, researcher at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers, and first author of the study.

Graphene oxide barrier to protect electronics, artwork and solar cells

Curtin University researchers have recently shown that applying a thin (and of course, invisible) layer of graphene oxide to silicon forms an impermeable barrier, which could be used to protect artwork, prevent corrosion of metals, and produce higher efficiency solar cells.

Lead author, Dr. Nadim Darwish from Curtin’s School of Molecular Life Sciences, said while protective layers on silicon were already used as an efficiency enhancer in devices such as solar cells and microchips, the procedure for forming these protective coatings was complicated and required highly specialized fabrication laboratories.

Graphene assists researchers to develop a prototype for an artificial neuron

A team of researchers from CNRS and the Ecole Normale Supérieure in France developed a prototype of an artificial neuron. Their system uses ions to carry information, and relies on a thin layer of water transporting ions within long graphene incisions.

The human brain manages to consume relatively small amounts of energy, even while performing complex tasks. This high efficiency comes from neurons, which have a membrane with tiny pores called ion channels. These channels can open and close according to the stimuli received from neighboring neurons. The result is an electric current going from neuron to neuron, allowing these cells to communicate with each other.

Graphene-enhanced concrete: recent developments

Graphene seems like a natural fit for the construction field, due to its potential for creating materials that are lighter and more durable. The potential is huge: concrete and asphalt, steel, various paints and much more.

Versarien uses graphene-enhanced concrete in a residential setting image

Focusing on concrete, advantages found by researchers are many. It was found that graphene can increase the resistance and impermeability of the material, lower the number of other materials required so that the result is more environmentally friendly and sustainable material, and give the entire material longer life spans.