The Graphene Revolution

One of the most interesting technologies, now under development, converts CO2 into graphene, one of the thinnest materials known, at one atom thick (a million times thinner than a human hair), the strongest compound discovered (between 100-300 times stronger than steel), the lightest material known (with one square meter coming in at around 0.77 milligrams) and flexible.

Graphene is also impermeable to molecules, and is extremely electrically and thermally conductive. Graphene enables electrons to flow much faster than silicon. It is also a transparent conductor, combining electrical and optical functionalities in an exceptional way. Graphene is available for chemical modification, with potential for a wide variety of applications, ranging from electronics to composite materials.

I​​​​n simple terms, graphene is a two-dimensional atomic plane made up of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. Due to its unique combination of superior properties, graphene is a credible starting point for new disruptive technologies across a wide range of fields.

A new, commercially viable process is now being developed to produce graphene from captured CO2. The implication? We may now have a highly profitable, politically viable, and environmentally sustainable way to break free from our destructive practice of pumping CO2 into our atmosphere.

Learn more about graphene

Videos below are from the Graphene Flagship, an educational and research consortium sponsored by the European Union.

Graphene's flexibility could be used in emerging technologies such as rollerball computers, heat sensitive clothing and flexible phones.

Graphene is transparent, meaning that we could see TV's built into windows and Sat Navs built into car windscreens in the future of electronics.

Graphene is the strongest material known to man. It is over 200 times stronger than steel. The strength of graphene could be used in composites.

Graphene can conduct electricity even better than copper and this gives graphene endless applications including conductive paints and inks, next generation electronics and more efficient batteries.

One of graphene's most dynamic properties is its remarkable thinness. At just one atom thick, graphene is one million times thinner than the diameter of a human hair.

Graphene has the highest thermal conductivity known to man. ​But how can we harness this and what can it be used for?

Detailed description from Wikipedia: Graphene is an allotrope of carbon in the form of a two-dimensional, atomic-scale, hexagonal lattice in which one atom forms each vertex. It is the basic structural element of other allotropes, including graphite, charcoal, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. It can also be considered as an indefinitely large aromatic molecule, the ultimate case of the family of flat polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Graphene has many properties. It is about 200 times stronger than the strongest steel. It conducts heat and electricity very efficiently and is nearly transparent. Graphene also shows a large and nonlinear diamagnetism, even greater than graphite, and can be levitated by Nd-Fe-B magnets...Scientists have theorized about graphene for years. It has likely been unknowingly produced in small quantities for centuries, through the use of pencils and other similar applications of graphite. It was originally observed in electron microscopes in 1962, but only studied while supported on metal surfaces. The material was later rediscovered, isolated and characterized in 2004 by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester. Research was informed by existing theoretical descriptions of its composition, structure and properties. High-quality graphene proved to be surprisingly easy to isolate, making more research possible. This work resulted in the two winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene." (See Wikipedia for more information, links, and references.)