A new partnership for graphene research has been forged between Strategic Energy Resources (SER) and Monash University in Victoria, providing some competition for research projects in South Australia.
The Australian Research Council has approved a Linkage Project grant of $255,000 over three years, and SER has pledged to contribute $120,000 over three years, a total of $375,000.
The research project is entitled “Green manufacturing of graphene from indigenous natural graphite and graphene-based nanofiltration membranes”.
The research team at Monash University plans to establish a green chemical route for transforming low-value graphite fines into high-value graphene.
Part of the research project will be to finds ways to reduce the cost of graphene production.
Research is already underway, according to SER, and results relating to water purification have already been reached.
The team is involved in producing scalable coating methods for producing asymmetric, inert, robust and highly permeable graphene membranes, which will allow safe and economical treatment of corrosive mining effluents and recovery of precious metals.
The team at Monash have already developed a type of sand, called “super-sand” which is comprised of grains of sand coated with layers of graphene.
Super-sand is more efficient at removing contaminants from water than sand alone.
Another graphene research team from the University of Adelaide has recently published two papers relating to their own discoveries and development of water purifying uses for graphene, including removal of toxic metals from industrial waste waters, and agricultural applications such as soil remediation.