A team of researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, RMIT University, and the National Institute of Technology in Warangal, India, have used eucalyptus bark extract to create graphene, a material touted as the thinnest and strongest material knows to humans.
Graphene’schemical and physical properties give it the potential for applications in many areas, including computer chips, solar panels, flexible electronics, water filters and bio-sensors.
RMIT lead researcher, distinguished professor Suresh Bhargava, said the new method could reduce the cost of production from $100 per gram to only fifty cents per gram.
The researchers say the method is also more sustainable than current synthesis methods. Professor Vishnu Shanker from the National Institute of Technology said the “green” chemistry does not use toxic reagents, which may increase the potential for applications in not only electronics but in biocompatible materials as well.
The paper outlining the team’s findings, “Novel and Highly Efficient Strategy for the Green Synthesis of Soluble Graphene by Aqueous Polyphenol Extracts of Eucalyptus Bark and Its Applications in High-Performance Supercapacitors,” is published in the journal Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering.