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

Graphene and hBN shown to significantly enhance the performance of a working fuel cell

Researchers at The University of Manchester, UK, have tested graphene and hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) in the membrane area of fuel cell. The reported results show a rather exciting reduction in crossover (diffusion of methanol from anode to cathode through the membrane that causes short-circuits) with no changes in proton conductivity and a performance improvement of up to 50%.

Fuel cells, devices that convert the chemical energy of fuel directly into electrical energy through oxidation-reduction reactions, are considered to have potential for use in future energy applications as they are efficient and clean. Methanol fuel cells are widely favored due to their usage of methnaol as a liquid fuel, simplicity in operation, higher energy density of methnaol fuel and more. A major hindrance to commercialization,though, is methanol crossover taking place in the membrane area of fuel cells, leading to short circuits and greatly affecting overall performance.

Read the full story Posted: Dec 08,2016

Graphene and boron nitride structure holds promise for fuel cells

Researchers at Rice University have found that layers of graphene, separated by nanotube pillars of boron nitride, may be a suitable material to store hydrogen fuel in cars. The boron nitride pillars are situated between graphene layers to make space for hydrogen atoms, similarly to spaces between floors in a building. The actual challenge is to make the atoms enter and stay in sufficient numbers and exit upon demand.

In their latest molecular dynamics simulations, the researchers found that either pillared graphene or pillared boron nitride graphene would offer abundant surface area (about 2,547 square meters per gram) with good recyclable properties under ambient conditions. Their models showed adding oxygen or lithium to the materials would make them even better at binding hydrogen.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 25,2016

Garmor announces electrically conductive composite for use in energy storage and electronic applications

Garmor, a graphene technology provider and developer of advanced customer-driven applications, has developed graphene-based composites ideal for high-volume electronic and energy storage applications. By leveraging inexpensive manufacturing methods to produce few-layer graphene oxide (GO) along with innovative composite compression molding processes, Garmor produced compression-moldable GO-composites that can be shaped and stamped into almost any form factor. Garmor is currently establishing strategic business relationships to deploy this technological advancement in applications focused on energy production and storage.

These composites exhibit nearly isotropic electrical conductivity exceeding 1,000 S/cm delivering a unique, omnidirectional conductive substrate. Equally impressive is that these GO-enhanced materials include a polymeric resin that is inherently chemically resistant and allows for increased lifetime even in harsh operating environments.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 13,2016

Water-removal technique could help develop next-gen carbon nanomaterials for fuel cells and batteries

A research team at Los Alamos, along with collaborators from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico, and Rutgers University, has developed a new water-removal technique that improves the performance of carbon nanomaterials used in fuel cells and batteries. The study may present new avenues for designing advanced carbon nanomaterials for batteries and fuel cells.

The study gives an in-depth understanding of the role water plays in graphene oxide nanosheets or functionalized graphene sheets. Dry films of graphene oxide include a significant volume of added water that builds up between the oxygen-functionalized nanosheets and is also usually produced in aqueous solutions. The researchers showed how a simple solvent drying method can remove the accumulated water between the graphitic sheets. When water is removed, the physical structure of these graphene oxide nanosheets changes considerably, and the distance between the nanosheets is also reduced. In addition to this, the researchers also noted that the concentration of functional groups changed significantly, resulting in highly ordered structures. These changes ultimately led to improved electrocatalytic activity, which substantially improves the performance in batteries and fuel cells.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 27,2016

Crumpled graphene may benefit self-cleaning surfaces and batteries

Researchers at Brown University have demonstrated that graphene, wrinkled and crumpled in a multi-step process, becomes significantly better at repelling water - a property that could be useful in making self-cleaning surfaces. Crumpled graphene also has enhanced electrochemical properties, which could make it more useful as electrodes in batteries and fuel cells.

The researchers aimed to build relatively complex architectures incorporating both wrinkles and crumples. To do that, the researchers deposited layers of graphene oxide onto shrink films -polymer membranes that shrink when heated. As the films shrink, the graphene on top is compressed, causing it to wrinkle and crumple. To see what kind of structures they could create, the researchers compressed same graphene sheets multiple times. After the first shrink, the film was dissolved away, and the graphene was placed in a new film to be shrunk again.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 22,2016

Graphene-wrapped magnesium nanocrystals to improve fuel cell performance

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a battery-like hydrogen fuel cell, which surrounds hydrogen-absorbing magnesium nanocrystals with graphene oxide sheets to improve its performance.

The graphene shields the nanocrystals from oxygen, moisture and contaminants, while tiny, natural holes allow the smaller hydrogen molecules to pass through. This filtering process overcomes common problems degrading the performance of metal hydrids for hydrogen storage. The graphene-encapsulated magnesium crystals act as "sponges" for hydrogen, offering a very compact and safe way to take in and store hydrogen. The nanocrystals also permit faster fueling, and reduce the overall size.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 13,2016

Graphene to significantly improve gold catalyst for fuel cells

A team of researchers at Kyushu University's International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) designed a method that could prove a real breakthrough technology for fuel cells - by showing how wrapping a graphene support in a specially prepared polymer provides an excellent foundation for making uniform, highly active gold nanoparticle catalysts.

Gold nanoparticles have been recognized as an agreeable solution for improving the performance of catalysts that could be used in fuel cells, but creating a uniform, useful catalyst still remained elusive. However, the team in this study devised a method for using a new type of catalyst support. By wrapping the support in the polymer that was developed, the scientists created a much better support environment for the gold nanoparticles.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 09,2016

Novel catalyst could improve fuel cells and Li-air batteries

Researchers at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) announced the development of an iron-carbon composite catalyst that can contribute to a reduction in the costs of fuel cells and Li-air batteries

The carbon composite catalyst contains iron and nitrogen and uses a graphene nanoplate. It is reportedly better than existing carbon catalysts in terms of durability and performance, and allows mass production at a low cost. The researchers hope that it will be able to contribute to the commercialization of metal-air batteries.

Read the full story Posted: Dec 15,2015

Graphene and cobalt make for a powerful catalyst for fuel cells

Scientists at Rice University and colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Houston have reported the development of a graphene-based robust, solid-state catalyst that shows promise to replace expensive platinum for hydrogen generation.

The researchers have shown that graphene, doped with nitrogen and augmented with cobalt atoms, is an effective and durable catalyst for the production of hydrogen from water. This could be used in fuel cells, among other applications. 

Read the full story Posted: Oct 22,2015