Last December, Carbon Waters became part of the European Macramé project, a consortium with 19 partners. Its mission is considerable: Run tests to precisely characterize graphene nanoparticles and their toxicity throughout the product lifecycle.
Lucie Chupin explains, “The three-year European Macramé project has gathered stakeholders from academies, business, and laboratories around several case studies on nanoparticles, specifically graphene, carbon nanotubes, and graphene oxide.” The purpose of this vast European study is to see how these nanoparticles behave in end products, such as sprays, heated seats, and varnishes, by looking into five case studies. “In fact,” Chupin adds, “we are going to analyze the whole lifecycle and characterize everything that may be toxic or ecotoxic, at the different product phases: design, production, end of life, etc. Carbon Waters has a dual role in the project. It is both a producer of graphene and an ‘experimenter,’ since we’re in charge of a case study on a battery varnish. In this role, we’re going to simulate deterioration from things like abrasion and heat to see if the varnish withstands high temperatures, if it has recycling potential, if it triggers ecotoxic effects.”
Submitting to Standards and Work Methods
Ultimately, the goal of the program is to subject nonspherical nanoparticles to rigorous standards and work methods. Chupin admits, “So far, we have very little long-term data on graphene oxide and multilayer graphene. Thanks to the Macramé project, we will be able to assess their impact in the matrix, and make recommendations and critical characterizations of standards in order to assess the risks.”
Carbon Waters will be working with labs such as the LNE, National Metrology and Testing Laboratory, and the Swiss lab EMPA, specializing in fine particle analysis, to assist with the work.