Do graphene and layered materials have an effect on the wider environment?
To investigate the effect of graphene oxide if released into the environment, the Graphene Flagship examined graphene oxide’s effect on a sediment column containing aquatic organisms. Toxic effects were observed in some species but not others, and there were some changes to bacterial communities. Another study indicates that graphene and layered materials may reduce pollen vitality in the lab, but these effects are less evident in living organisms.
The results of this research show that more investigations are needed, underpinning the importance of the Graphene Flagship’s efforts to further our understanding of the interactions of graphene and layered materials with the environment.