Green graphite from forestry waste

A New Zealand company may have struck gold with its own modern-day philosopher's stone, turning waste sawdust into valuable graphite.Graphite is considered a 'strategic mineral' by the United States for its use in many applications, such as the significant component of lithium ion batteries.

CarbonScape chief executive Oliver Foster said there was a way to go before commercial production of graphite but producing the amount they had so far had been a significant milestone. More than 1 million tonnes of graphite was mined worldwide in 2016, with the bulk coming from China.

The majority of synthetic graphite was also produced in China using a high-energy, intensive process using petroleum pitch and tar, taking carbon out of the ground. CarbonScape head of research and development Greg Conner said producing graphite normally took 11 weeks and temperatures of 2800 degree Celsius.

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Source: Marlborough Express




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