The assurance of product quality and consistency is vital for the successful adoption of graphene additives by downstream customers. With a strong focus on product quality with its PureGRAPH® graphene product range, First Graphene has made significant progress in this area. Implementing state of the art analytical methods, participating in establishing international standards (ISO/TC229) and use of 6-sigma approaches to control manufacturing processes have all contributed to establishing PureGRAPH® as the leading brand for quality in the industry[i]. First Graphene continues to pursue improved methods for the characterisation of graphene products and has announced a new collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), UK a globally acknowledged, independent laboratory.
World-leading measurement solutions are critical to business and government, accelerating research and innovation, improving quality of life and enabling trade. Following the COVID-19 crisis the NPL with the support of National Measurement Laboratory partners launched the Measurement for Recovery (M4R) programme[ii], to support UK companies. First Graphene has successfully secured a place on the programme to study the Specific Surface Area of PureGRAPH® products.
Specific Surface Area is an important parameter of graphene platelets, that may impact dispersion and polymer wetting, and a critical parameter for regulatory authorities to enable them to categorise new substances and compare toxicology and environmental fate profiles. Specific Surface Area of powders is typically characterised by the BET (Brunauer-Emmett-Teller) method which uses nitrogen gas adsorption to characterise the surface area. In recent work by NPL[iii], researchers investigated factors that impact upon BET measurements including the pristine nature of the graphene platelets.
In the collaborative M4R project, NPL researchers will determine the BET specific surface area of a range of PureGRAPH® products and intermediates, to determine the factors that affect the results of BET measurements. The project is currently underway.
Paul Ladislaus, CTO of First Graphene says, “This study will provide further understanding of the surface area of our products, enabling us to provide world-class information to our customers and regulatory authorities.”
Keith Paton, Senior Research Scientist at NPL says “The M4R programme supports projects with UK companies, such as First Graphene, to enable innovation through measurement and this study will provide important insights into how the BET method can be effectively deployed by the graphene industry.”
[iii] Sofia Marchesini, Piers Turner, Keith R. Paton, Benjamen P. Reed, Barry Brennan, Krzysztof Koziol, Andrew J. Pollard, Carbon 167 (2020) 585-595