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    Graphene Oxide Filters: Clean Drinking Water to Millions

    Graphene Oxide Filters: Clean Drinking Water to Millions

    According to independent research, the global market for water filtration and purification membranes is estimated to be worth more than US$25bn. Given the potential for graphene oxide in water filtration, it is therefore unsurprising that significant academic research has taken place into graphene oxide membranes.


    A key challenge when moving from academic research to commercial products involves ensuring the technology is scalable. G2O, a UK based graphene innovation company, has developed and patented graphene oxide membrane filtration technology and will be leading a £1m project to scale the technology over the next two years. The project includes a number of UK companies working on different aspects of the scale up. William Blythe is proud to announce that they will be working on this project as the graphene oxide material developer and supplier, optimising their graphene oxide for G2O’s membrane filters. Described as “an essential new technology capable of providing contaminant-free water in a cost-effective way for people in the developing world”, William Blythe are looking forward to working collaboratively on this project over the next two years.

    If you have any questions about William Blythe's graphene oxide research, please get in touch.

    Will The Faraday Challenge Result in New Graphene Based Products?

    Will The Faraday Challenge Result in New Graphene Based Products?

    The UK Government recently announced that new funding will be available for research around clean and flexible energy. Termed the ‘Faraday Challenge’, the funding has been described as “an investment of £246 million over 4 years to help UK businesses seize the opportunities presented by the transition to a low carbon economy, to ensure the UK leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of batteries for the electrification of vehicles”. While research included within this brief will be diverse, looking at all aspects of a battery and manufacturing processes, the question of whether graphene and related materials will find a home in this competition has come up many times already.


    Research around graphene and graphene oxide in battery applications is wide ranging, with the materials most frequently considered for use in the electrodes, often as composites. The two-dimensional nature of these materials can be exploited to achieve high surface area materials, often enhancing the performance of existing materials. The possibilities are not limited to the electrodes though, graphene oxide has a broad range of properties which could be exploited in future generations of batteries. One potential example would be the continued use of these materials in composites, used to increase the mechanical strength of polymers. Improvements in this area could be employed in new housing for batteries, to increase the safety of the driver if the battery pack was impacted during a traffic accident.


    The possibilities for graphene oxide in future generations of batteries is diverse, with opportunities presented in many aspects of the global transition into mainstream hybrid and electric vehicles. William Blythe has participated in Innovate UK funding previously and had an active interest in projects related to energy storage – with and without the inclusion of graphene oxide. If you have a project you would like to work on with William Blythe, please get in touch.

    William Blythe and the Graphene Oxide Application Experts

    William Blythe and the Graphene Oxide Application Experts

    After a 12 month development programme, William Blythe launched their GOgraphene webshop to supply research scale quantities of graphene oxide to the market. Just over 6 months later, William Blythe is now seeking to not only increase their graphene oxide capacity, but also to start working with leaders in the field on developing application enhanced grades of graphene oxide.

    Over the past few weeks, William Blythe have attended several graphene oxide and 2D material related events throughout Europe, listening to the requirements of the exciting technologies graphene oxide is being applied in. A recent event at the National Graphene Institute (NGI) in Manchester, UK, gave the opportunity for one of William Blythe’s Development Chemists to present on our graphene oxide. Looking at how the project was conceived through to commercialisation and next steps, the presentation allowed the attending researchers, both academic and industrial, to learn more about how William Blythe can help to develop and commercialise the materials they need.

    Our team will continue to attend events to learn more about industry requirements, with the next one scheduled for the 21st June, also at the NGI. If you are holding an event and would like William Blythe to participate, please send us the details.

    Graphene Oxide in Aerogels for Air Purification

    Graphene Oxide in Aerogels for Air Purification

    Air pollution is an increasing issue for people around the globe, especially those living in large cities. While the drive to swap to cleaner, greener technologies and alternatives grows, there is still a need to offer air purification in many technology areas. The issues of air purity affect not only the outdoor environment, but also indoors. The building, its decoration and the local levels of Radon gas can all impact the air quality inside buildings.


    A 2015 paper by Xiong et al worked on combining absorption with photocatalysis. The concept was to increase the concentration of pollutants around a photocatalyst by absorbing them onto an adjacent surface. The photocatalytic oxidation process would then regenerate the absorbent, preventing the surface from becoming saturated and a “one use only” technology.


    Their research focussed on the development of a graphene aerogel combined with titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is well known for its photocatalytic activity while graphene aerogels are of great interest due to their exceptionally high surface area. The group added the titanium oxide to a graphene oxide dispersion and then went on to functionalise the graphene oxide by reacting it with ethylenediamine before converting it into an aerogel. The group found that the shape of the aerogel was easily directed by the shape of the vessel it was formed in, offering great flexibility for creating air purification cartridges. At the time of publication, while the group had confirmed that the desired material could be made, further work was still needed to understand the purification capability of the TiO2/graphene aerogel.


    If you would be interested in using graphene oxide in your research, please get in touch.


    Procedia Engineering, 2015, 121, 957 – 960

    Graphene oxide: The Benefits of Buying

    Graphene oxide: The Benefits of Buying

    Graphene oxide was first reported in the literature over 150 years ago, at a time when there was little interest in exploring the benefits of the material in the multitude of application areas it is currently being used in. Interest in graphene oxide rose dramatically with the discovery of, and Nobel prize for, graphene. The subsequent years have seen the use of graphene oxide in a diverse range of applications, with many researchers focussing on graphene oxide as a potential precursor material for graphene with specific graphene oxide applications now under development.

    With no suppliers, initial graphene oxide researchers were unable to purchase graphene oxide and therefore synthesised all of their own material. Despite multiple graphene oxide suppliers launching a variety of products for this market in the past few years, some researchers are still undecided as to whether they should purchase or make their own graphene oxide for their work. While William Blythe understand that there are always reasons to synthesise your own graphene oxide, we have tried to overcome some of the most common concerns around purchase with our GOgraphene webshop.

    Consistent quality 

    William Blythe are aware that some suppliers do not offer a consistent product. As an established chemicals manufacturer with over 150 years’ experience supplying chemicals, we ensure our graphene oxide meets the same high standards as our other products before we dispatch your order.

    Flexibility

    Buying from someone else will always reduce some of the flexibility compared to in house synthesis. William Blythe have tried to overcome this by offering multiple product forms, developing a high concentration dispersion which can be easily diluted and by taking requests for custom functionalisation of our standard material.

    Availability 

    To keep results comparable, most researchers do not want to swap materials supply part way through their research programme. We monitor our stock levels carefully to make sure we always have enough of our graphene oxide to fulfil our orders. Keep an eye on our lead times if you have any concerns

    Volume 

    Graphene oxide is currently only available for purchase online in relatively low quantities. Some researchers are concerned that the raw materials availability will prevent their application from being scalable. As William Blythe has already developed scale-up plans, this need not be a concern. Not only is our process is scalable, but within 12 months of demand projections requiring it, William Blythe can scale on to a dedicated multi-tonne production facility.

    Price 

    Some materials suppliers fluctuate their prices, meaning there are some researchers who do not want to become reliant on a materials supplier. The graphene oxide available on the GOgraphene webshop has never been increased in price. Depending on the currency you are purchasing in, the screen may display slight variations, however our GBP pricing has not been increased since launch.

    We hope that the above helps to alleviate some of the concerns which we know exist in the marketplace. If you have other concerns or questions regarding purchase versus in house synthesis, please get in touch. There are a host of benefits to purchasing graphene oxide, including saving time and removing the need for hazardous synthesis. If you are ready to switch to buying graphene oxide, please take a look at our current product portfolio.