Scalability in the Mechanochemical Syntheses of Edge Functionalized Graphene Materials and Biomass-derived Chemicals


A. Sinclair, A. Taraboletti, D. T. Restrepo, K. Chagoya, R. G. Blair, S. Biltek, S. Jackson


Royal Society of Chemistry


Faraday Discussions



Mechanochemical approaches to chemical synthesis offer the promise of improved yields, new reaction pathways, and greener syntheses. Scaling these syntheses is a crucial step toward realizing a commercially viable process. Although much work has been performed on laboratory-scale investigations little has been done to move these approaches toward industrially relevant scales. Moving reactions from shaker-type mills and planetary-type mills to scalable solutions can present a challenge. We have investigated scalability through discrete element models, thermal monitoring, and reactor design. We have found that impact forces and macroscopic mixing are important factors in implementing a truly scalable process. These observations have allowed us to scale reactions from a few grams to several hundred grams and we have successfully implemented scalable solutions for the mechanocatalytic conversion of cellulose to value-added compounds and the synthesis of edge-functionalized graphene.


Discrete element method, scalability

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