Scientists at Rice University in Houston TX have found a way to create Graphene by using waste. The process, named flash graphene, works by heating carbon-containing materials to 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat this intense creates graphene in 10 milliseconds. This graphene can then be used in a wide range of products.
Graphene is one of the world’s strongest materials. It is generally used to enhance the strength of other materials including metals and plastics. Graphene is also conductive to both electricity and heat making it a versatile substance used in an enormous amount of technology applications.
Graphene is currently complex to create and uses slower chemical processes. This process is quicker and uses waste that would otherwise breakdown, emitting carbon into the atmosphere. When graphene created by Flash Graphene is used in applications like concrete, it allows those industries emit less carbon by needing less concrete as a result of adding graphene to the mixture.
Creating graphene with food waste has the potential to be another option as a waste management solution. Currently between 30%-40% of food is wasted in the United States, according to the USDA. Solutions like Flash Graphene and Waste to Energy have the ability to use this waste in a way that is environmentally friendly while also creating new industries.
Written by Justin Stanphill