A research team in China has devised a method of producing high-quality graphene foams from the waste gasses produced through high-temperature treatment of organic waste. The team claims its method is cheaper and friendlier to the environment than existing production methods, according to Physics World.
But what is graphene foam? Physics World describes it as porous, 3D versions of the 2D carbon sheet comprising conventional graphene. They share many of the same properties of graphene, such as high conductivity of electricity and heat. The foams are being explored for many potential applications, including energy storage and environmental purification.
The Chinese research team’s method foregoes the usual large amounts of gases like hydrogen and methane, opting instead for the organic waste gases which are rich in carbon but don’t require the gases used for chemical vapor deposition.
The resulting graphene foam was found to have a lower environmental impact than traditional chemical processes in 15 out of the 18 categories tested, including global warming and land use, according to Physics World.