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A Method for Graphite Exfoliation by a Mechanical-Chemical Route
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Graphite Exfoliation
Graphite is the most stable allotropic form of carbon, which consists of several layers of graphenes joined with covalent bonds; these layers are linked together by a weak Van Der Walls interaction [1]. Due to the weakness of these interactions, it is possible to insert ions, atoms or molecules between the layers. In the exfoliation process, vaporization of the intercalated species leads to a significant expansion up to hundreds of times along the c-axis, forming a highly porous worm-like material. Exfoliated graphite (EG) has interesting properties for various applications because its high thermal stability, excellent electronic conductivity and oxidation resistance [2]. A potential application of the EG is as adsorbent of heavy oil, DDT and some dyes [1]. This is due its high porosity, weak polarity, hydrophobic nature and high selective sorption capacity to large organic compounds. EG has been synthesized by galvanic, chemical and thermal treatments on the natural graphite. However, the chemical method is widely used because its simplicity and versatility.
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