Much has been written about the unique properties of graphene. However, for all its indisputable advantages, the production of graphene is still quite expensive. But it seems that this shortcoming may remain in the past. Scientists from the research organization CSIRO (Australia) have developed a method for the rapid and inexpensive production of graphene from ordinary soybean oil.
To do this, they used the unique GraphAir technology, which eliminates the need to use hazardous gases such as methane and hydrogen. Sheets of available polycrystalline nickel are used as catalyst. The process of obtaining graphene itself takes place in a tubular quartz furnace, where soybean oil is heated to a temperature of 810 ° C for 26 minutes.
As a result, it splits into several carbon elements necessary for the synthesis of graphene. After that, heating continues for another 3 minutes, during which there is a uniform distribution of a layer of carbon atoms 1 nanometer thick on the substrate. Cooling is carried out by limiting the air flow in the quartz furnace, which ensures a good quality of the graphene film.
The new method opens up broad prospects for obtaining graphene at minimal cost, using almost any organic raw material, including waste oil from frying or barbecue.