An Environmentally Friendly Approach to Cost-Effectively Produce Oxidized Graphite and Prepare Carbon Fiber

Researchers at the University of Central Florida (UCF) have developed a scalable, environmentally friendly method to produce oxidized graphite. UCF’s oxidized graphite is water dispersible, which aids in the preparation of thin films, carbon fibers, and carbon nanotubes; has resistivities ranging from 50-8,000 Ω/cm2; and, most importantly, allows for easy conversion to graphene. Oxidized graphite is similar to graphite oxide, which has been traditionally used as a precursor for the large-scale synthesis of isolated layers of graphite known as graphene. Graphene has a number of applications including: composites, nanoelectronics, energy storage and drug-delivery systems. Most of these commercial applications require the production of graphite oxide on a large scale. Current methods, such as Hummers’ method, for preparing this material require corrosive reagents and produce copious quantities of acidic waste. Additionally, Hummer’s method graphite oxide can be contaminated with manganese salts which makes is pyrophoric. Benjamin Neymotin (407) 823-0665

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