Removing carbon dioxide from natural gas to reduce emissions, creating biosensors to detect molecules and enhancing night vision goggles – the potential applications of graphene seem endless.
But what are the biggest challenges in getting the one-atom-thick material out of the lab and onto the factory floor?
This September, Horizon talks to scientists who are turning graphene into membranes that can strip impurities from water, and we find out how one of the big hurdles is working out how to grade graphene.
And we hear from the scientific director of graphene-maker Graphenea, who believes that the graphene market could be extremely attractive for companies once applications start to come online.
In 2013, the EU launched the EUR 1 billion Graphene Flagship - its biggest-ever research initiative - with the goal of developing applications for graphene within a decade by bringing together researchers from academia and business.
For more information http://graphene-flagship.eu/
Graphene production could become a very attractive market for small- and medium-sized enterprises, according to Dr Amaia Zurutuza, scientific director of the graphene production company Graphenea, but it might take a while.
Pure graphene is impenetrable to even the smallest atoms but with a few adjustments it is giving rise to a new generation of permeable membranes, with possible applications from water filtration to reducing power station emissions.
Every minute, satellites and sensors collect enormous amounts of data about the world around us – from temperature to pollution and forest cover to soil quality. This month, Horizon looks into the technologies behind Earth observation and how we can make best use of the vast amounts of information produced. We find out how measurements taken by people with smartphones on the ground can feed into local datasets and how the minituarisation of satellites is creating opportunities for start-ups to enter the Earth observation market. We also discover how measurements are being used to protect ecosystems and what historical data can tell us about extreme weather such as hurricanes and droughts.
The world’s oceans are overfished, polluted and – for something that makes up 70% of the Earth’s surface – still little understood. This month, Horizon looks at some of the science that could help us take better care of our oceans, from robots trash collectors out at sea to finding ways to track the plastic that enters our waters. Plus, we look at how climate change is affecting plans for sustainable aquaculture, tech that can help divers reduce the cost of their dives by more than 50%, and the challenges facing research in the Black Sea.
The pioneering solar flight foundation Solar Impulse has launched an ‘Efficient Solution’ label for clean energy start-ups and innovations that can demonstrate their profitability, in a bid to boost investment in the sector.
Profitability, not altruism, set to spur investors.
Scientists are working out how to improve the quality of urban environments.
Co-author of Stephen Hawking's final paper talks about how their work goes beyond Einstein.