The “miracle material” continues to improve the world with the many graphene uses and applications discovered and developed. This time, scientists found the carbon allotrope can convert CO2 into a valuable product like liquid fuels.
Researchers from Rice University discovered that graphene is good electrocatalysts in participating in electrochemical reactions. In fact, it is found to perform as good as copper which is largely used in electrical equipment because of its great conduciveness to heat and electricity.
From CO2 to Liquid Fuels
In the study published in Nature Communications, scientists found that nanometer nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots (NGQDs) can trigger CO2 electro-reduction converted into ethanol and ethylene – two high-energy liquid fuels. Since graphene – as an allotrope of carbon – is not really a catalyst, nitrogen was added.
According to the lead researcher Pulickel Ajayan, the mechanism is actually really “a puzzle” even though various studies have apparently been done on “doped and defective carbon being catalytic.” This only proves how there are still a lot of graphene uses and applications waiting to be unveiled.
As for the study, Ajayan says it cannot be used for large-scale production as of yet with more studies and experiments needed to be done first. However, it offers a backbone for a future solution to reducing the CO2 amount in the atmosphere and turning it into something valuable instead.
The Many Uses of Graphene
The wonder material undoubtedly lives up to its moniker. As science’s knowledge of graphene deepens, more applications are created from the field of electronics to medicine.
One of the remarkable discoveries includes graphene’s superconductivity. While being the world’s thinnest material, it is found to have an ability to superconduct leading to further explorations when it comes to molecular electronic devices and technologies.
This ability also applies to the textile industry. When graphene was added to a silkworm’s diet, the woven gossamer threads produced are significantly stronger than regular silk. Moreover, it can conduct electricity.
In the world of technological advancements in medicine and biology, the material created from graphene elastomer has more sensitivity than human skin. This can be used to wrap around robotic hands watching for elderly people since it is soft and responsive.
These are only some of the examples of the numerous graphene uses and applications. In time, more will surely be added to the exceptional roster of graphene’s revolutionary functions.