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- Chemical Engineering; Chemistry; Fluid mechanics; Physical chemistry; Reaction engineering; Waste management
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Developing eco-friendly and cost-effective processes for the synthesis of graphene oxide (GO) is essential for its widespread industrial applications. In this work, we propose a green synthesis technique for GO production using recycled sulfuric acid and filter-processed oxidized natural graphite obtained from a Couette-Taylor flow reactor. The viscosity of reactant mixtures processed from Couette-Taylor flow was considerably lower (∼200 cP at 25 °C) than that of those from Hummers' method, which enabled the simple filtration process. The filtered sulfuric acid can be recycled and reused for the repetitive GO synthesis with negligible differences in the as-synthesized GO qualities. This removal of sulfuric acid has great potential in lowering the overall GO production cost as the amount of water required during the fabrication process, which takes a great portion of the total production cost, can be dramatically reduced after such acid filtration. The proposed eco-friendly GO fabrication process is expected to promote the commercial application of graphene materials into industry shortly.