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Dry ice makes graphene cheaper, greener, and by the (relative) boatload


Dry ice isn't just great for keeping steaks cold and filling your bathtub with fog, it may also play a major role in producing the miracle metal material graphene. Researchers at Northern Illinois University have discovered that burning magnesium in frozen carbon dioxide produces a thin layer of the hyped-to-the-lattices carbon nanostructure. The so-called dry-ice method has several advantages over previous techniques, not the least of which is the ability to pump out the relative of pencil lead on a much larger scale. It also happens to be faster, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly compared with the lengthy processes involving hazardous chemicals used in most graphene production. It's pretty great news but, honestly, all we want to know is when the stuff is going to start powering super-fast internet connections -- that complete Flying Circus collection isn't going to download itself.

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