10 Updates

Miracle Material Graphene Could Be Pollutant Of The Future

Apr 30 2014, 9:16pm CDT | by

To its many fans, graphene is a wonder substance set to transform the world. But could it also pollute the planet at the same time? That was the question posed by researchers at the University of...

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12 weeks ago

Miracle Material Graphene Could Be Pollutant Of The Future

Apr 30 2014, 9:16pm CDT | by

To its many fans, graphene is a wonder substance set to transform the world. But could it also pollute the planet at the same time?

That was the question posed by researchers at the University of California, who wanted to know what would happen if graphene was released into the environment.

They found that graphene oxide nanoparticles spread quickly through surface water, which would mean that if the substance found its way into a lake or river, it could have the potential to harm plants, animals and perhaps even humans.

“The situation today is similar to where we were with chemicals and pharmaceuticals 30 years ago,” said Jacob D. Lanphere, a researcher at the University’s Riverside Bourns College of Engineering. “We just don’t know much about what happens when these engineered nanomaterials get into the ground or water. So we have to be proactive so we have the data available to promote sustainable applications of this technology in the future.”

Graphene oxide nanoparticles are made by oxidizing graphene, which is a super-thin material consisting of single carbon atoms. It is flexible, strong and conductive, meaning it could be used in computers, solar panels, phones and a huge number of other kinds of tech.

However, in a paper entitled “Stability and Transport of Graphene Oxide Nanoparticles in Groundwater and Surface Water” published in Environmental Engineering Science, Lanphere found that it was a powerful environmental contaminant.

When released into ground water, which tends to be harder and contains less organic material, graphene quickly becomes unstable and either settles or is removed from water. But in water above ground, it remains stable and quickly disperses.

If it was a harmless substance, this wouldn’t be so problematic. But another study  last year found that if human beings ingest graphene, it could slice into cells and play havoc with the contents.

“These materials can be inhaled unintentionally, or they may be intentionally injected or implanted as components of new biomedical technologies,” said Robert Hurt, professor of engineering  at Brown University . “So we want to understand how they interact with cells once inside the body.”

Before the study, scientists have assumed that graphene would always be found in perfect square sheets. The Brown team found that sharp, small pieces of graphene could break off. If these bits came into contact with human cells, they could slice them open and then be absorbed within them. It is not entirely clear what would happen next, as scientists are unclear about the long term effects of exposure to graphene.

Although graphene is already being used in small quantities, there is a long way to go before it becomes an everyday material. Before we do, it is important to think about the possible harm it could cause, as well as the huge benefits it offers.

Do you know anything about the possible health implications of graphene exposure? Get in touch at jasper.hamill@gmail.com or via Twitter .

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the D ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was reject ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammu ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in compensation ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohame ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocatio ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Sc ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway (Kide ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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