Last Friday (14), during the Rio Innovation Week, Rio de Janeiro’s Secretary of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Sergio Luiz Costa Azevedo Filho, better known as Dr. Serginho, announced that the state will have a production technology center. Industrial-scale graphene foam.
Demonstration of hydrophobic graphene sponges to be produced in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: propaganda / sectarian
Called hydrophobic (able to repel water) sponges, they are reusable and remove oily materials from water surfaces like rivers, lakes, and even parts of the ocean like Guanabara Bay faster than current technologies.
According to the Secretariat, graphene is a form of carbon that has properties such as mechanical resistance and, at the same time, lightness, and is abundantly available in Brazil.
As published by Diário do Rio, the plant presentation ceremony was attended, in addition to Dr. Serginho, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Marcos Pontes, representatives of the University of Caxias do Sul and Zextec, participants in the project.
Graphene foam can become our great ally in cleaning up Guanabara Bay. It is a sustainable solution and at a cost that is significantly lower than the technologies used so far for this purpose,” said Dr. Serginho. “The launch of this product is proof that investing in high-quality research is delivering countless results for society.”
Electric raft with foam has demonstrated the ability of the product to remove oils and other organic matter from water and can be used to clean areas with permanent spills of these products, such as ports, oil extraction and refineries.
Brazil is a reference in graphene
For two years, the directors have devoted themselves to technology development under the Graduate Program in Process Engineering and Technology at the University of Caxias do Sul (UCS), based on a research project on hydrophobic foams.
According to the scientists, the material has many applications besides cleaning water surfaces and can be used both in new designs for optical communications and in health-tracking adhesives, for example.
The new technology center, to be established in the city of Niterói, will be called the Iñas Carneiro Technological Centre, in honor of Professor Iñas Carneiro, Bruna’s former presidential candidate in the 1980s and 1990s famous for the slogan “My name is Ines”.
“Thanks to the joint efforts of Brazilian researchers, authorities and companies, Brazil is already producing many products from graphene, transforming knowledge and technology into jobs and income for the country,” Minister Marcos Pontes emphasized.
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