Recently, the world's largest investment management corporation, BlackRock, in a market research report said that currently, they prefer U.S. and Japanese equities to European equities because of the energy problem stemming from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"Russia's invasion of Ukraine caused terrible injuries, a surge in commodity prices, and food and energy security issues," BlackRock, "It is stifling the economic growth and fulling inflation driven by supply problems. Europe is most affected among those developed markets, as it is trying to wean itself off Russian energy."
The volatile international political situations will continue to affect the markets and prices of many commodities like the graphene powder.
Researchers at University College London have demonstrated a graphene nanomentum that is highly hydrophilic, ultra-hydrophobic and low oil adhesion underwater.
In this work, the researchers took a natural inspiration for the manufacture of high-performance graphene membranes to perform tricky oil/water separation -- even in stable emulsions. They demonstrated the impressive water permeability of graphene nanomentum over a wide pH range and at a very low transmembrane pressure difference.
The researchers explain that they used chitosan-functionalized graphene nanomentum to achieve this superior water flow rate and very high selectivity, resulting in a water recovery of 98.7%. The chitosan repels contaminants on the surface of the membrane, and the nanonet reduces the path length of the water molecules, which quickly travel along and through the graphene layer covered with nanopores.
The team says its nature-inspired Chemical Engineering (NICE) approach and its systematic nature-inspired solution approach allow fundamental mechanisms that support desired properties in natural systems -- such as scalability, efficiency and resilience -- to be used in engineering applications. "We have demonstrated the success of this approach in fuel cells, sustainable manufacturing, medical engineering applications and more."
The researchers were inspired for this work by the structure of cell membranes, specifically aquaporins. Aquaporins are proteins embedded in cell walls that act as biological channels. They keep cells alive by selectively regulating the flow of water, gases, ions, and other solutes in and out of cells in a way that is unmatched by anything made by humans. The reason aquaporins are so efficient is that their channel walls repel water (i.e. they are hydrophobic), and they are very narrow, with subnanometer diameters. This narrowing forces water through the channel in a single line at a staggering rate of 3 billion water molecules per second.
Inspired by nature's elegant and efficient designs, the team created nanonets by introducing "nanopores" through graphene oxide sheets. These nanopores reduce the distance water must travel across the membrane and also benefit from sliding along the graphene nanosheet. Combined with the low friction between the graphene nanosheets and water molecules, this results in a high permeability of almost 4000Lm(-- 2)h(-- 1)bar(-- 1), approximately 260 times that of the GO film.
Scaling is an inevitable problem in membrane separation. The pores of the membrane will be blocked, which prevents the flow and prevents the membrane from working properly. Scaling is a particularly serious problem for oil separation technology because oil droplets adhere easily to film surfaces.
In this case, nature also provided inspiration. Because hydrophilic and charged groups form a hydration layer on the membrane, the cell membrane has a natural antifouling mechanism. Chitosan with similar functional hydroxyl and amino groups has been proposed to functionalize surfaces to prevent fouling.
Putting these ideas together, the researchers modified the graphene nanonets using chitosan with hydrophilic hydroxyl and amino groups to increase their hydrophilicity and induce the formation of an antifouling hydration layer on the membrane surface.
The next phase of this research work is to scale it up to larger membrane separation modules and test the long-term stability of the membrane in a variety of practical situations. The researchers also plan to develop other methods to achieve the membrane's powerful, extensive anti-fouling properties.
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Due to the limited total amount of traditional energy, people have a huge demand for cleaner and greener new energy alternatives. Now, the emergence of graphene is unlocking the possibility of its application in the energy field, which can create a greener, more efficient, and sustainable future. Here Francesco Bonaccorso, Deputy Director of Innovation at the Graphene Flagship Program, explains how his researchers have developed a series of initiatives to bring graphene from the lab to the commercial market. Graphene has become a research hotspot for new materials in the 21st century. Graphene has been adopted by many industries, the most notable of which are healthcare and key material applications.
The development of graphene has brought huge fluctuations in the demand for graphene powder, and the demand for graphene powder will continue to grow in the future. You can contact us for the latest news on graphene powder.
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