Main content area

Preparation of graphene by exfoliating graphite in aqueous fulvic acid solution and its application in corrosion protection of aluminum

Yang, Shengkai, Zhuo, Kelei, Sun, Dong, Wang, Xiaohui, Wang, Jianji
Journal of colloid and interface science 2019 v.543 pp. 263-272
aluminum, coatings, corrosion, electrostatic interactions, flocculation, fulvic acids, graphene, liquids, nanosheets, pH, slurries, sodium chloride, sonication, sulfuric acid, transportation
Liquid phase exfoliation (LPE) method has great potential for the large-scale production of graphene due to its simplicity, scalability, and low cost. In this work, fulvic acid (FA) was chosen to assist the exfoliation of graphite into graphene for the first time via sonication in aqueous medium. The concentration of obtained graphene dispersion can reach 0.63 ± 0.04 mg mL−1. The graphene flakes mostly consisted of 1–5 layers with sizes range in submicron to micron and few defects in the basal-plane. The π–π interaction between graphene and FA, along with the electrostatic repulsion between negatively charged FA, played a major role in stabilization of the graphene dispersion. By adjusting the pH of graphene dispersion to 14, the nanosheets of graphene came to flocculation. The formed graphene slurry is favorable for storage and transportation due to the greatly decreased volume. The annealed coating of FA-graphene on aluminum sheets was used as corrosion inhibitor for aluminum in 0.5 M H2SO4 and 0.6 M NaCl solutions, with inhibition efficiencies of up to 85.5% and 99.4%, respectively. This shows that as-prepared graphene has great potential applications in the anti-corrosion of aluminum.