Graphene to potentially replace platinum for cheaper fuel cells

Researchers from Rice University have discovered that nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes or modified graphene nanoribbons could potentially replace platinum, one of the most expensive facets in fuel cells, for performing fast oxygen reduction—a crucial reaction that transforms chemical energy into electricity.

Graphene to replace platinum in fuel cells image

The researchers used computer simulations to see how carbon nanomaterials can be improved for fuel-cell cathodes and discovered the atom-level mechanisms by which doped nanomaterials catalyze oxygen reduction reactions. The simulations also revealed why graphene nanoribbons and carbon nanotubes modified with nitrogen and/or boron are so sluggish and how they can be improved.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 07,2018

Samsung's "graphene balls" improve the performance and charging time of Li-ion batteries

Samsung has announced the development of a unique "graphene ball" that could make lithium-ion batteries last longer and charge faster. In fact, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) said that using the new graphene ball material to make batteries will increase their capacity by 45% and make their charging speed five times faster. It was also said that batteries that use graphene ball can maintain a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius that is required for use in electric cars.

Samsung's graphene balls for batteries image

SAIT's team used a chemical vapor deposition process to grow a graphenesilica assembly, called a graphene ball. Each graphene ball is composed of a SiOx nanoparticle center and surrounding graphene layers, constituting a 3D popcorn-like structure. The graphene-ball coating improves cycle life and fast charging capability by suppressing detrimental side reactions and providing efficient conductive pathways.

Read the full story Posted: Nov 27,2017

Graphene-wrapped nanocrystals may open door toward next-gen fuel cells

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a mix of metal nanocrystals wrapped in graphene that may open the door to the creation of a new type of fuel cell by enabling enhanced hydrogen storage properties.

Graphene-Wrapped Nanocrystals Make Inroads Toward Next-Gen Fuel Cellsultrathin oxide layer (oxygen atoms shown in red) coating graphene-wrapped magnesium nanoparticles (orange) still allows in hydrogen atoms (blue) for hydrogen storage applications

The team studied how graphene can be used as both selective shielding, as well as a performance increasing factor in terms of hydrogen storage. The study drew upon a range of Lab expertise and capabilities to synthesize and coat the magnesium crystals, which measure only 3-4 nanometers (billionths of a meter) across; study their nanoscale chemical composition with X-rays; and develop computer simulations and supporting theories to better understand how the crystals and their carbon coating function together.

Read the full story Posted: Sep 18,2017

Rice University team makes laser-induced graphene from wood

Researchers from Rice University have transformed wood into an electrical conductor by turning its surface into graphene. The team used its LIG technique to blacken a thin film pattern onto a block of pine.

Rice U creates graphene on wood image

Previous work with LIG included heating the surface of a sheet of polyimide, an inexpensive plastic, with a laser. Rather than a flat sheet of hexagonal carbon atoms, LIG is a foam of graphene sheets with one edge attached to the underlying surface and chemically active edges exposed to the air.

Read the full story Posted: Aug 01,2017

A Graphene-MoS2 combination could assist in efficient splitting of water to create 'green' energy

Researchers from Florida State University, Penn State University, Tsinghua University in China and the Institute of Carbon Science and Technology in Japan have come to fascinating conclusions on how to produce pure hydrogen, a green energy fuel by splitting water.

Graphene-MoS2 combo to split water image

After experimenting with ways to use the compound molybdenum disulfide to split water, the team realized that the compound’s protons did not overlap well with that of hydrogen. They ultimately determined that the best way to split the hydrogen was to create an alloy with the molybdenum disulfide. They created a thin film with alternating graphene and tungsten-molybdenum layers.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 10,2017

Graphene and ruthenium mixture creates durable catalyst for fuel cells

Rice University scientists have attached ruthenium atoms to graphene to create a durable catalyst for high-performance fuel cells. Most catalysts used to drive the oxygen reduction reaction that lets fuel cells turn chemical energy into electricity are made of platinum, which stands up to the acidic nature of the cell’s charge-carrying electrolyte. However, platinum is expensive, and replacements have long been searched for by researchers.

Graphene and ruthenium mix to create catalyst for fuel cells image

The ruthenium-graphene combination may pose a suitable replacement; In tests, its performance was said to easily match that of traditional platinum-based alloys and bested iron and nitrogen-doped graphene, another contender.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 02,2017

Tackling graphene oxide's flammability issue may open the door to various applications

Researchers from the University of Arkansas have tackled the issue of graphene oxide's flammability; The team explains that scaling up the production of graphene-based materials is often problematic and dangerous due to GO's tendency to become explosive once airborne, so solving this problem may prove important.

In their work, the team established a relatively simple method to cross-link GO with Al3+ cations, in one step, into a freestanding flexible membrane. This membrane resists in-air burning on an open flame, at which non-cross-linked GO was burnt out within ∼5 s. With the improved thermal and water stabilities, the cross-linked GO film can help advance high-temperature fuel cells, electronic packaging, etc.

Read the full story Posted: May 21,2017

Updates from Prof. James Tour's graphene lab at Rice University

Prof. James Tour's research lab in Rice University is one of the leading graphene research groups in the world, with several key technologies first discovered and developed there. Professor Tour is involved with several application areas - from de-icing coating to energy storage and quantum dots production. Prof. Tour was kind enough to share his time and update us on the latest research and commercialization efforts at his lab.

rice university laser process supercapacitor image

The Tour group is now commercializing two of its key technologies. First up is the laser-induced graphene (or LiG), which was reported first in 2014. This is a process in which graphene is formed on a flexible polyimide film using a room-temperature laser-based process. It is possible to pattern this graphene to create devices and as it is formed on a flexible film this easily enables flexible electronics applications.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 09,2017

Haydale's revenues increase 90% in H1 FY2016, updates on various graphene projects

UK-based Haydale announced its unaudited results for the six months ended 31 December 2016, or H1 FY2016. Total income was £1.5 million (up 90% from H1 2015) and the loss was £2.4 million (up from £1.9 million in H1 2015).

Haydale also provided some interesting update. The company signed a joint development agreement with Hunsman in Novermber 2016, and Haydale now says that Huntsman announced strong initial test results from Haydale's graphene enhanced Araldite resins in thermal management. Haydale's Thailand subsidiary also announced two new small contacts - one from the Thai Ministry of Energy for a printed hybrid functionalized graphene electrode in a supercapacitor and another from IRPC, a leading Thai petrochemical chemical processor.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 23,2017

Grafoid unveils a cost-effective graphene coating called GrafeneX

Grafoid, a leading graphene R&D and investment company, announced its entry into the global industrial coatings market with the introduction of its patent pending GrafeneX graphene coatings technology. Grafoid describes the GrafeneX technologies as a cost-effective way of laying down graphene coatings on large surface areas.

GrafeneX is a novel technology that creates a platform for the deposition of graphene and chemically functionalized graphene coatings. This process provides Grafoid with the capability to apply its diverse graphene-based coatings to many different types of material substrates with controllable levels of surface coverage, thickness etc. to meet precise end user requirements.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 01,2017