Experts suggest production of graphene from recyclable materialsBreaking

May 08, 2024

Pakistan needs to produce green graphene from recyclable materials, which will not only help save the environment from their toxic effects but also generate a multitude of work and business opportunities, Abdul Bashir, Chief Geologist of Balochistan-based Koh-e-Daleel Minerals Private Limited, told WealthPK. He said, “The biomass produced from forestry, agricultural, industrial, household, and municipal solid waste is dumped into the environment in huge quantities yearly. By converting it into graphene-producing carbon, the import bill of a variety of health, industrial, or electronics-based items can be saved.” “To meet the future industrial and power needs, there is a dire need to produce graphene-like carbon-based nanomaterials. Without using the environment and life-threatening agents, production of green graphene makes it more sustainable for commercial use,” he opined. He said graphene was considered a monoatomic graphite layer that existed as a two-dimensional (2-D) planer sheet. When isolated from the mother material, it offers some impressive properties other than the conventional ones.

Generally, graphite is the raw material for the production of graphene, but it can also be produced from any carbon source, such as coal. To create carbon nanomaterials, coal is believed to be a good material varying in varieties – lignite, bituminous coal, anthracite, lignite, or sub-bituminous. He said the green graphene superbly matched the graphene produced through the traditional methods and conventional materials like graphite and emphasized that the departments responsible for scientific research and innovation in Pakistan should focus on synthesizing graphene in more eco-friendly ways. “The rising demand for graphene as an industrial material can be converted into a huge opportunity for the country if worked out with devotion. It enhances the natural strength of any item to which it is added. The Government of Pakistan must focus on finding all the possible sources from where graphite can be extracted whether they are natural or recycled resources. Nano-technology is also an important sector that needs to be focused on at both academic and industrial levels. China excels in nano-technology and Pakistan can coordinate with it in this regard.”

Talking to WealthPK about the production of green graphene, chemist and nano-technologist Mumtaz Hussain Mian said, “Production of graphene from recyclable materials is called green graphene expression. Graphene, a single atomic graphite layer, is technically a non-metal, but its semi-conducting properties refer to it as a quasi-metal. It is considered a tough, flexible, light, and highly resistant material. It is two hundred times more resistant than steel and five times lighter than aluminium.” He said other than its production through the natural carbon sources like coal or graphite, a variety of environmentally hazardous solid waste precursors could be utilized to produce graphene for industrial applications. Concluding, he said, “The source and synthesizing methods of graphene impact its cost and price. Owing to its multiple advantages in the power and industrial sector, efforts continued to look for diverse eco-friendly reducing agents, including bio-related materials and non-hazardous chemicals. It is expected that in future, more cost-effective and eco-friendly ways to synthesize graphene on a larger scale will be possible.”

Credit: Independent News Pakistan