Graphene made from Soy

Seshadri Ramkumar,     Texas Tech University, USA   
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Figure: CSIRO Scientist Dr Dong Han Seo, co-author of the study, holds a piece of graphene film.
Figure: CSIRO Scientist Dr Dong Han Seo, co-author of the study, holds a piece of graphene film.

Graphene, deemed recently as a wonder material is a type of carbon, which is strongest, thinnest with good electrical conductivity. These properties enable it have potential applications in wide array of sectors such as electronics, biomedicine and aerospace. And this Graphene has been made using soybean oil by a team of Australian scientists.

The Australian team led by CSIRO, Australia has come-up with a new method of graphene production termed, “GraphAir,” which uses ambient environmental conditions to grow graphene films. This process deviates from other conventional techniques that require high energy and extensive vacuum. The conventional methods are costly, which has prevented good commercial success of graphene.

In the new method, soybean oil was used as a precursor to develop graphene using one-step process. Interestingly, the team has experimented with leftover cooking and waste oils.

According to Dr. Dong Han Seo, the CSIRO scientist involved in the study, the new technique results in graphene with good and comparable properties with graphene developed using conventional processes.

The scientists envisage applications such as improving battery performance and developing cheap and efficient solar panels, to name a few.

In 2010, the Nobel Prize committee recognized two scientists from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom for their work on graphene.

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