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Vol 6 Issue 8



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Graphene enhanced concrete features several times this month. It seems that the world is starting to pick up on the environmental benefits. A new reservoir dam is under construction at Almudévar, northeast of Zaragoza in Spain. Graphenea and the University of Madrid have a graphene enhanced concrete trial on site. The trial is on non-structural components as you would expect for a new material on a critical project. The early results are showing that the addition of graphene will make the concrete last 50% longer.

The Almudévar project would be notable just for this. What is interesting is the reaction of the leadership of the construction company, Lantania Group, building the dam.

“This new additive is undoubtedly a step forward in improving the sustainability of infrastructures. By increasing its durability, we will be able to make concrete a more environmentally friendly material,”
Federico Ávila, President of Lantania

When the top management of big construction companies start to make public statements like this, we know that things are starting to change.

Another development with a sustainable theme is the industrial pilot scale recycling of end of life lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles. The Hydrovolt plant in Norway can already recycle 12,000 tonnes of battery packs each year. The company reclaims 95% of the plastics and metals but the graphite electrodes were a waste stream. Graphmatech and Graphenea have collaborated to take the graphite waste and upcycle it into graphene oxide. This is a very encouraging development.

Moving from graphene powders to large area sheet graphene, we have a special feature this month exploring the new material that will emerge in the foreseeable future. This is a Van der Waals homostructure of multi-layer large-area sheet single-crystal graphene. We propose a new name for this material; Graphene Super-Laminate (GSL).

We will explore the properties of GSL in future issues, it promises to realise the full potential of graphene’s superlative properties. In this issue we start to see this new material being considered as the last piece of the puzzle for a world changing technology – the space elevator.

Visions don’t come much bigger than this, and it just might be that graphene could play a key role in making this happen. You can find out about this and more in this issue, dear reader.

Adrian Nixon

1st August 2022