Recent article at El Financiero

Esta empresa produce grafeno para blindar edificios

El grafeno es un material compuesto por carbono con una dureza hasta 200 veces superior al acero, hasta el momento es el más resistente y ligero conocido, y esta empresa de nanotecnología en construcción invirtió 70 mdp para producirlo.

Ángel Alcántara

16.04.2017 Última actualización 17.04.2017

La empresa mexicana de nanotecnología en construcción Graphenemex invirtió 70 millones de pesos para producir grafeno, un producto con una dureza hasta 200 veces superior al acero y que es usado para ‘blindar’ instalaciones y hasta en chalecos antibalas, por ser un material ligero. “En dos años hemos invertido 70 millones de pesos para crear la infraestructura necesaria para producir y expandir los usos de la nanotecnología, en especial el producto del grafeno”, dijo Antonio Miramontes, director general de Graphenemex. El grafeno es una sustancia compuesta por carbono y hasta el momento es el material más resistente y más ligero conocido. “Ya se nos ha acercado el ejército mexicano interesado en la aplicación del grafeno en la fabricación de chalecos antibalas y para blindaje vehicular”, comentó Miramontes. La consultora Markets and Markets cree que el mercado global del grafeno alcanzará un valor de 278 mil millones de dólares para 2020, al registrar una tasa promedio de crecimiento anual de 43 por ciento, con un mayor uso en Asia y Estados Unidos, mientras Latinoamérica y África tendrán el mayor rezago.

BBC NEWS

Graphene-base sieve turns seawater into drinking water

By Paul RinconScience editor, BBC News website

A UK-based team of researchers has created a graphene-based sieve capable of removing salt from seawater.The sought-after development could aid the millions of people without ready access to clean drinking water.The promising graphene oxide sieve could be highly efficient at filtering salts, and will now be tested against existing desalination membranes.It has previously been difficult to manufacture graphene-based barriers on an industrial scale.Reporting their results in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, scientists from the University of Manchester, led by Dr Rahul Nair, show how they solved some of the challenges by using a chemical derivative called graphene oxide.Isolated and characterised by a University of Manchester-led team in 2004, graphene comprises a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. Its unusual properties, such as extraordinary tensile strength and electrical conductivity, have earmarked it as one of the most promising materials for future applications.But it has been difficult to produce large quantities of single-layer graphene using existing methods, such as chemical vapour deposition (CVD). Current production routes are also quite costly.On the other hand, said Dr Nair, “graphene oxide can be produced by simple oxidation in the lab”.He told BBC News: “As an ink or solution, we can compose it on a substrate or porous material. Then we can use it as a membrane.”In terms of scalability and the cost of the material, graphene oxide has a potential advantage over single-layered graphene.” Of the single-layer graphene he added: “To make it permeable, you need to drill small holes in the membrane. But if the hole size is larger than one nanometre, the salts go through that hole. You have to make a membrane with a very uniform less-than-one-nanometre hole size to make it useful for desalination. It is a really challenging job.”Graphene oxide membranes have already proven their worth in sieving out small nanoparticles, organic molecules and even large salts. But until now, they couldn’t be used to filter out common salts, which require even smaller sieves.Previous work had shown that graphene oxide membranes became slightly swollen when immersed in water, allowing smaller salts to flow through the pores along with water molecules.Now, Dr Nair and colleagues demonstrated that placing walls made of epoxy resin (a substance used in coatings and glues) on either side of the graphene oxide membrane was sufficient to stop the expansion.[/ig_text][/ig_column][/ig_row]