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A post-functionalizable, sustainable and cost-effective graphene aerogel.

Country of Origin: Spain
Reference Number: TOES20180405001
Publication Date: 5 April 2018

Summary

A Spanish research institution has developed a simple, eco-friendly and easily scalable method for the production of graphene oxide aerogel. The material obtained contains numerous functional groups and presents high stability in air and aqueous medium. The possible applications are focused on membrane technologies, CO2 adsorption, selective adsorption of gases, supercapacitors and batteries, among others.
Industrial partners are being sought to collaborate through a patent licence agreement.

Description

Current industrial trends are moving towards the production of graphene and its derivatives for a wide range of applications, and whenever possible, through efficient and sustainable processes.
To date, in the production of graphene oxide aerogels (GO), the use of "green solvents" such as alcohol combined with a drying treatment, seems to be the greenest option available. However, the disadvantages involve the use of very high temperatures (> 500 K), the inherent flammability of the solvent, and the changes in the chemical reactivity of the treated material. As a consequence, the reduction of GO to rGO (reduced graphene oxide) causes the elimination of functional groups and the instability of the material in water.
The present technology proposes a method of producing a GO aerogel starting from an alcohol dispersion of graphene oxide nanoparticles or platelets at room temperature, and subsequently applying a supercritical CO2 drying process at low temperatures (T <370 K) and mild pressures (P~15-20 MPa). The procedure is developed under isothermal and isobaric conditions, and it is readily reproducible, scalable and cost-effective.
The aerogel obtained combines stability and robustness with a high functionalization capacity granted by the large number of functional groups maintained from the starting graphene oxide. Its chemical composition shows a surprisingly low degree of reduction from GO to rGO, together with a high surface area, between 100 m2/g and 250 m2/g, and a high pore volume, between 0.9 and 1.5 mL / g.
The Spanish research centre is searching for a Company interested in the developement and commercialization of this method under a license agreement.The group involved in the technology has broad experience in the area and is open to collaborate with possible interested industrial partners.
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Advantages and Innovations

- The graphene oxide aerogel obtained is highly functionalizable, stable in air and in aqueous medium, flexible and shows a great capacity of ab(d)sorption.
- Easily scalable method.
- Environmentally sustainable production.
- Cost efficient
- Possible applications as adsorption material in membrane technologies, CO2 adsorption, selective gas separation, batteries, supercapacitors, metal catalyst supports, among others.

Stage Of Development

Available for demonstration

Requested partner

Industrial partners from the graphene industry and derivates are being sought to develop and commercialize the method through a patent licence agreement.

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