The Hyperion Synthetic System
Dr. Chris Sorensen
Dr. Chris Sorensen serves as HydroGraph’s VP R&D and is the inventor of the Hyperion Synthetic System. Chris is the former Cortelyou-Rust University Distinguished Professor in the department of physics at Kansas State University.
Elegance, with its attendant simplicity, underpins many great achievements in science. The Hyperion method to create graphene is, we believe, an example of an elegant synthesis. Fill a chamber with a hydrocarbon and oxygen, ignite the mixture with a small spark, and voila, graphene is formed. Simple, simple, simple! Change the oxygen to carbon ratio, the hydrocarbon or add dopants to create a variety of high-quality graphenes for a wide variety of potential applications.
The science behind the method is simple as well. The Hyperion method is exothermic. This is totally unlike any other graphene production method, all of which are endothermic.
That means we don’t need to draw energy out of the grid or burn a fossil fuel to create the energy that converts the hydrocarbon to graphene. One could say that the precursor materials bring their conversion energy with them. Hence the Hyperion method is extraordinarily green. Once that energy is released in the chemical reaction initiated by the spark, it is contained in the constant volume chamber (hence no work can be done) to create the high temperatures necessary for creation of graphene. Simple, simple, simple!
Like all great science, the Hyperion method gives back in many ways. After the chamber reaction and the graphene is formed, a valuable product remains: syngas. Syngas is a well-known mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, and as such is the source material for many useful organic chemicals like methanol. And, of course, the hydrogen has great value as a green energy fuel. The Hyperion method applied to natural gas yields green hydrogen at a price less than classic steam reforming.
Many have forecasted that graphene with its marvelous physical properties will enhance the physical properties of other materials when mixed via simple “shake and bake” procedures without a rational design. We believe a more rational approach is needed — chemically react graphene with the matrix material. To satisfy this glaring need we have created a “reactive graphene” that has carboxylic acid groups on the surface of multilayer graphene while leaving the interior core graphene not compromised. With this, we adapt the chemistry of our graphene to chemically combine with any given material, from polymers to concrete and with themselves. In fact, we believe that we are at the threshold of a graphene organic chemistry with boundless technical opportunities!
The HG Blog is a conversation around the manufacturing and use of graphene, hydrogen, and other strategic products in the materials and energy spaces.