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An Environmentally Friendly Approach to Cost-Effectively Produce Oxidized Graphite and Prepare Carbon Fiber

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Background: Oxidized graphite is similar to graphite oxide which has been traditionally used as a precursor for the large-scale synthesis of isolated layers of graphite known as graphene. Graphene has a number of applications including: composites nanoelectronics energy storage and drug-delivery systems. Most of these commercial applications require the production of graphite oxide on a large scale. Current methods such as Hummers’ method for preparing this material require corrosive reagents and produce copious quantities of acidic waste. Additionally Hummer’s method graphite oxide can be contaminated with manganese salts which makes is pyrophoric. Technology Description: Researchers at UCF have developed a solvent-free low cost and scalable method for producing water dispersible electrically conductive oxidized graphite. This material is chemically similar to graphite oxide but retains the electrical conductivity of graphite. Using this oxidized graphite UCF researchers have made advancements in the creation of thin films carbon fibers and carbon nanotubes. Applications: Usable in applications where graphite oxide may be unsuitable due to the presence of manganese impurities.

Benefits:

1) Cost-effective method for producing graphene thin films carbon fibers and nanotubes 2) Environmentally-friendly solvent-free production of oxidized graphite 3) Tunable oxygen content 4) Hydrophilic freely dispersible in water

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