Feeds

Boffins brew graphene in kitchen blender

Will it blend? You bet

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Take pencil leads, detergent, water, stick them in a high-power kitchen blender, and the result? A brew containing the wonder-stuff graphene.

Funded by UK chemicals company Thomas Swan, researchers from Trinity College Dublin were working on a way to produce graphene at industrial scale. As noted in Nature, the real work was done on an industrial blender, but the “will it blend?” question apparently intrigued researcher Jonathan Coleman, who set about reproducing the so-far-secret recipe in a 400W kitchen device.

Coleman used “half a litre of water, 10 to 25 mls of detergent, and 20 to 50 grams of graphite powder (found in pencil leads)”, using more sophisticated lab kit (centrifuges, spectrometers and electron microscope) to separate the graphene and identify the graphene in the brew.

Thomas Swan is launching the industrial-scale process, and by the end of the year hopes to be producing a kilogram of graphene per day that it will be selling as either a powder or a suspension.

Nature quotes a Cambridge expert, Andrea Ferrari, as saying Coleman's process has a production rate “hundreds of times” higher than the “best in the literature”, and the four-or-five layer thick graphene flakes produced by the blender are of high quality with good conductivity, Coleman says. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?