Well graphene just keeps getting better and better! Graphene oxide soaks up radioactive waste: http://news.rice.edu/2013/01/08/another-tiny-miracle-graphene-oxide-soaks-up-radioactive-waste-2/
"A collaborative effort by the Rice lab of chemist James Tour and the
Moscow lab of chemist Stepan Kalmykov determined that microscopic,
atom-thick flakes of graphene oxide bind quickly to natural and
human-made radionuclides and condense them into solids. The flakes are
soluble in liquids and easily produced in bulk. The experimental results were reported in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.
The discovery, Tour said, could be a boon in the cleanup of
contaminated sites like the Fukushima nuclear plants damaged by the 2011
earthquake and tsunami. It could also cut the cost of hydraulic
fracturing (“fracking”) for oil and gas recovery and help reboot
American mining of rare earth metals, he said. Graphene oxide’s
large surface area defines its capacity to adsorb toxins, Kalmykov said.
“So the high retention properties are not surprising to us,” he said.
“What is astonishing is the very fast kinetics of sorption, which is
key.” “In the probabilistic world of chemical reactions where scarce
stuff (low concentrations) infrequently bumps into something with which
it can react, there is a greater likelihood that the ‘magic’ will
happen with graphene oxide than with a big old hunk of bentonite,” said
Steven Winston, a former vice president of Lockheed Martin and Parsons
Engineering and an expert in nuclear power and remediation who is
working with the researchers. “In short, fast is good.”"
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