'Flash Graphene' Made from Trash Could Reduce Manufacturing Costs
Researchers from Rice University introduce an Earth-friendly method that can turn bulk amounts of almost any material containing carbon content into valuable graphene flakes. The “flash graphene” technique can convert a ton of coal, food waste, plastic waste, or wood clippings into graphene for a fraction of the cost used by other bulk graphene-producing methods. The graphene is made in 10 milliseconds by heating carbon-containing materials to about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This technique can help facilitate an enormous reduction of the environmental impact of concrete and other building materials. “By strengthening concrete with graphene, we could use less concrete for building, and it would cost less to manufacture and less to transport,” adds Rice chemist James Tour.