Senior Design 2020 – Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Team 4
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Team 4
Keanu Aguirre Robert Camarda Evan Dennison Melvin Ireland
Large Scale Production of Graphene
Graphene refers to the single layers of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice that are the building blocks of graphite. There is a substantial demand for pristine graphene across industries that deal in electronics, coatings, medicine, and energy storage. The motivation of this project is to develop a process to produce graphene on a commercial scale at a significantly cheaper cost than current methods. Our approach involves introducing graphite to a two-phase mixture of heptane and water, causing it to spontaneously exfoliate into graphene and coat the liquid-liquid interface. Graphene will be transferred from the interface using a glass roving on a reel to reel system and then deposited into a water collection container. The effectiveness of the system will be measured by determining the amount of graphene in the collection container which will be compared to calculated theoretical mass transfer and thermodynamic values. Using this information, the process can be upscaled to a commercial level based on demand for graphene. The only safety concern with our process is the use of heptane; proper operating conditions and personal protective equipment will be put into use for its handling. Our solution for producing pristine graphene will allow for significant technological breakthroughs in areas where graphene’s properties can be employed. The cost effectiveness of our system will also lead to high profits for graphene producers.