CPI, Canadian SME, NRC Partner to Overcome Key Bottleneck in Graphene Oxide Production

The project received a £235k ($305,767) grant from Innovate UK.

CPI announced the successful development of a scalable purification process for graphene oxide (GO) production in partnership with Graphene Leaders Canada (GLC) Inc., a Canadian SME, and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).

This will overcome a key barrier to future large-scale production of GO, reducing costs and facilitating the adoption of GO to improve the performance of industrial products.

GO is the most processable and versatile precursor to graphene. Graphene demonstrates mechanical strength, optical purity and conductivity that are orders of magnitude higher than current technologies.

GO is therefore in great demand to produce graphene for use in promising future applications such as longer-lasting batteries, more efficient solar cells, improved water treatment, circuit boards, display panels, and medicinal technologies.

To improve the scalability of GLC’s manufacturing process, CPI has leveraged its state-of-the-art facilities to identify and incorporate the Tangential Flow Filter (TFF) technology into a suitable purification method.

With TFF, the unpurified GO slurry travels along the filter membrane, with contaminants passing through the filter as a waste stream. NRC leveraged their deep expertise in graphene oxide characterization to confirm product quality and consistency.

CPI successfully used TFF to develop an efficient, simplified and scalable batch purification process for purifying GO slurry, improving product yield, product quality and exceeding target concentration. CPI has used the results from the batch TFF purification process to develop the preliminary design for a commercial-scale plant for the slurry purification stage of GLC’s process.

Running from April 2019 to the end of October 2019, the project received a £235k grant from Innovate UK. It followed the overall UK-Canada Memorandum on Science, Technology and Innovation to strengthen collaborative ties between the NRC and UK research and innovation centers, including the Catapults and Research Council facilities across the UK.

“With this exciting collaboration, we have successfully developed a novel approach to rapidly purify graphene oxide which we can directly apply to our proprietary environmental platform,” said Donna Mandau, president & CEO, Graphene Leaders Canada.

“Improving GLC’s GO purification process is another step towards increasing the large-scale use of graphene within the industry,” said Tony Jackson, director of Formulation at CPI.

“The work with NRC, CPI and GLC is a true collaboration. All three parties have worked together, leveraging our expertise to deliver this project,” added Dr. Shan Zou, senior research officer and team leader from the NRC’s Metrology Research Centre.

"With this exciting collaboration, we have successfully developed a novel approach to rapidly purify graphene oxide which we can directly apply to our proprietary environmental platform,"
Donna Mandau
CEO, Graphene Leaders Canada
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