What if a kind of green graphene could be used to produce useful materials like electronic inks, polymers, metal composites and coatings by breaking methane gas?
That would be significant if it was a scalable process which is what the news from company Goodfellow is claiming. But first a very short background note on methane gas.
“This gas is potent: it has over twenty times the heat-trapping capacity of the most familiar greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. Methane is building in the atmosphere at an increasing rate, creating a thick blanket that warms the earth.
One way to slow this warming is to destroy methane. By breaking the bonds holding it together, it won’t be able to trap heat. But methane is one of the hardest molecules to break.”
That story is about developing and using a biotechnology platform to break down methane. Which is why this new green graphene process is so exciting.
“Goodfellow is pleased to announce the availability of ultra-pure “green” graphene, guaranteed metal-free and uniquely applicable in metal-sensitive processes.
The graphene is produced by means of a highly scalable process that involves breaking methane gas (CH4), a very potent greenhouse gas, into hydrogen and elemental carbon atoms in a plasma reactor. The carbon atoms then recombine into graphene sheets in the hydrogen atmosphere.
Elapsed time from the methane gas entering the plasma reactor to the point when graphene is formed is less than a second. The speed and cost-effectiveness of this green mass production method promises to make graphene readily available to a wide range of industries.
The resulting graphene nanoplatelets are very thin and slightly crumpled and they do not stack (unlike exfoliated materials), ensuring optimal electrical, thermal and mechanical performance. These characteristics make this easy-to-use product an extremely good nanofiller suitable for electronic inks, polymers, metal composites and coating.
Goodfellow offers both multi-layer graphene and predominantly one-layer graphene obtained through the green production process described above.”