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NPL supports a leading graphene company through M4R programme

First Graphene UK Ltd. receives support under NPL’s Measurement for Recovery (M4R) programme to refine measurement methods for graphene products.

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, NPL with the support of National Measurement Laboratory partners launched the Measurement for Recovery (M4R) programme, to support UK companies with cutting-edge expertise.

Working with NPL, First Graphene successfully secured a place on the programme to study the Specific Surface Area of PureGRAPH® products. 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, by implementing state of the art analytical methods, participating in establishing international standards (ISO/TC229) and using 6-sigma approaches to control manufacturing processes.

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, researchers investigated factors that impact upon BET measurements including the pristine nature of the graphene platelets.

In the collaborative M4R project that is currently underway, NPL researchers will now determine the BET specific surface area of a range of PureGRAPH® products and intermediates, to assess the effectiveness of the technique as a quality control method. 

Keith Paton, Senior Research Scientist at NPL states: “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.”

Paul Ladislaus, CTO of First Graphene states: “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.”

Find out more about NPL’s Measurement for Recovery (M4R) programme.

08 Sep 2020