Rice University

AMD partners with Rice University for U.S Army Radar program

Advanced Material Development (AMD) has announced the first of its U.S university collaborations as it ramps up plans for a Texas-based Defense and Security business. 

A U.S Army program, managed by AMD’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Alan Dalton, will now have a significant portion of the project developed at Rice University’s world-renowned Materials Science and Nano Engineering Department which is Chaired by world-leading material scientist Professor Pulickel Ajayan.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 03,2024

Rice researchers map the diffusion of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride in aqueous solutions

Rice University researchers have mapped out how bits of 2D materials move in liquid ⎯ which that could help scientists assemble macroscopic-scale materials with the same useful properties as their 2D counterparts.

In order to maintain these special properties in bulk form, sheets of 2D materials have to be properly aligned ⎯ a process that often occurs in solution phase. The Rice team focused on graphene and hexagonal boron nitride, a material with a similar structure to graphene but composed of boron and nitrogen atoms.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 04,2024

Researchers show potential for coal-based graphene to replace sand in concrete

Rice University researchers have found that graphene derived from metallurgical coke, a coal-based product, could serve not only as a reinforcing additive in cement but also as a replacement for sand in concrete.

"This could have a major impact on one of the biggest industries in the world," said James Tour, Rice's T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor and a professor of chemistry, materials science and nanoengineering. "We compared concrete made using the graphene aggregate substitute with concrete made using suitable sand aggregates, and we found our concrete is 25% lighter but just as tough."

Read the full story Posted: Jan 27,2024

Rice team produce hydrogen and graphene from waste plastic at zero net cost

Rice University researchers have found a way to harvest hydrogen and graphene from plastic waste using a low-emissions method that could more than pay for itself.

“In this work, we converted waste plastics ⎯ including mixed waste plastics that don’t have to be sorted by type or washed ⎯ into high-yield hydrogen gas and high-value graphene,” said Kevin Wyss, a Rice doctoral alumnus and lead author of the recent study. “If the produced graphene is sold at only 5% of current market value ⎯ a 95% off sale! ⎯ clean hydrogen could be produced for free.”

Read the full story Posted: Sep 16,2023

Rice team modifies Flash Process to recycle lithium-ion anodes

Researchers from the Rice University lab of chemist James Tour have reconfigured their "Flash Graphene" process to regenerate graphite anode materials found in lithium-ion batteries, removing impurities so they can be used again and again.

Flashing powdered anodes from commercial batteries recycles some of what the researchers called the “staggering” accumulation of waste they currently leave behind. In just a few seconds, a jolt of high energy decomposes inorganic salts including lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese from an anode. These can be recovered by processing them with dilute hydrochloric acid.

Read the full story Posted: Dec 12,2022

Researchers turn waste byproduct asphaltene into graphene

Researchers from Rice University, University of Calgary, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and University of Washington have managed to turn a waste material called asphaltene (a byproduct of crude oil production) into graphene.

Rice University's Muhammad Rahman, an assistant research professor of materials science and nanoengineering, is employing Rice’s unique flash Joule heating process to convert asphaltenes instantly into turbostratic (loosely aligned) graphene and mix it into composites for thermal, anti-corrosion and 3D-printing applications. The process makes good use of material otherwise burned for reuse as fuel or discarded into tailing ponds and landfills. Using at least some of the world’s reserve of more than 1 trillion barrels of asphaltene as a feedstock for graphene would be good for the environment as well.

Read the full story Posted: Nov 19,2022

Rice University and Ford Motors Company use flash Joule heating process to upcycle plastic from end-of-life F-150 trucks

Researchers from Rice University and Ford Motor Company are working together on turning plastic parts from end-of-life vehicles into graphene, via the university’s flash Joule heating process.

Upcycling end-of-life vehicle waste plastic into flash graphene image

The Rice lab of chemist James Tour introduced flash Joule heating in 2020 to convert coal, waste food, plastic and other materials into graphene.

Read the full story Posted: May 27,2022

Rice team modifies its Flash Graphene process to produce doped graphene

The Rice lab of professor James Tour has modified its flash Joule heating process to produce doped graphene that tailors the material’s properties for optical and electronic devices.

Heteroatom-Doped Flash Graphene process image

The modified process shows how graphene can be doped with a single element or with pairs or trios of elements. The process was demonstrated with single elements boron, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur, a two-element combination of boron and nitrogen, and a three-element mix of boron, nitrogen and sulfur.

Read the full story Posted: Apr 02,2022

New initiative involving U.S Army and academia will promote graphene applications

A new initiative has been established, to explore the development of various applications for graphene, from graphene-infused asphalt and concrete to water filtration systems.

To this end, researchers at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) will be working with top research institutions and experts from the University of Mississippi (UM), Jackson State University (JSU) and Rice University. The collaboration will explore graphene’s unique abilities in uses ranging from advanced materials-by-design to self-sensing infrastructure.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 24,2022

Machine learning helps improve the flash graphene process

Scientists at Rice University are using machine-learning techniques to fine-tune the process of synthesizing graphene from waste through flash Joule heating. The researchers describe in their new work how machine-learning models that adapt to variables and show them how to optimize procedures are helping them push the technique forward.

Machine Learning Guided Synthesis of Flash Graphene imageMachine learning is fine-tuning Rice University’s flash Joule heating method for making graphene from a variety of carbon sources, including waste materials. Credit: Jacob Beckham, from: Phys.org

The process, discovered by the Rice lab of chemist James Tour, has expanded beyond making graphene from various carbon sources to extracting other materials like metals from urban waste, with the promise of more environmentally friendly recycling to come. The technique is the same: blasting a jolt of high energy through the source material to eliminate all but the desired product. However, the details for flashing each feedstock are different.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 01,2022