The oxidative exfoliation of graphite is a promising approach to the large-scale production of graphene. Conventional oxidation of graphite essentially facilitates the exfoliation process; however, the oxidation procedure releases toxic gases and requires extensive, time-consuming steps of washing and reduction to convert exfoliated graphene oxide (GO) into reduced graphene oxide (rGO). Although toxic gases can be controlled by modifying chemical reactions, filtration, dialysis, and extensive sonication are unfavorable for large-scale production. Here, we report a complete, scalable, and green synthesis of GO, without NaNO3, followed by reduction with citric acid (CA). This approach eliminates the generation of toxic gases, simplifies the washing steps, and reduces the time required to prepare rGO. To validate the proposed method, we present spectroscopical and morphological studies, using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), UV-visible spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) is used to analyze the thermal properties of GO and rGO. This eco-friendly method proposes a complete guideline protocol toward large-scale production of oxidized graphene, with potential applications in supercapacitors, fuel cells, composites, batteries, and biosensors.
Keywords: citric acid; graphene; large-scale production; oxidized graphene.