Feeds

Boffins brew graphene in kitchen blender

Will it blend? You bet

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
NASA eyeballs SOLAR HEAT BOMBS, MINI-TORNADOES and NANOFLARES on Sun
Astro boffins probe fiery star's hidden depths
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.