“It is a significant step forward towards cheap and scalable mass
production,” Andrea Ferrari, an expert on graphene at the University
of Cambridge, told Nature. “The material is of a quality close to the
best in the literature, but with production rates apparently hundreds
of times higher.”
Currently the market for manufacturing graphene is booming as
speculative investors throw money at various companies. However, a lot
of the material produced is of low quality, with defects in the atomic
structure or chemical containments reducing the material’s efficacy.
Early studies suggest that Coleman’s process could be scaled up from
the kitchen blender-size to an industrial, 10,000 litre vat that could
produce as much as 100 grams of graphene per hour. Given that current
rates of production do not exceed 0.4 grams per hour this would be a
significant step forward.
“If you were to try this at home, you could use a household surfactant
(dishwashing liquid)," explains Coleman in a paper published online in
the journal Natural Materials. "However, I'm not sure I'd want to make
a smoothie in a blender that has just been filled with graphite."