Solvothermal Reduction of Graphite Oxide Using Alcohols

In the present work, we use either ethanol or ethylene glycol as reducing agents through the solvothermal method for graphite oxide reduction. A sulfuric acid treatment before the reduction process was also applied to evaluate its influence on the epoxy group ring-opening reaction. Reduced graphene oxide (RGO) samples were obtained with morphology like crumpled sheets. X-ray diffraction analyses (XRD) showed that the RGO produced via ethylene glycol (EG) reduction followed by treatment with sulfuric acid (RGOEGH) presented the largest d-spacing (0.4114 nm). For reduction with ethanol (RGOEt), the d-spacing value was 0.3883 nm. Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) results indicated that RGOEt exhibited very low-intensity bands related to oxygenated functional groups, suggesting a high reduction degree, while the sample reduced with EG contained oxygen group bands in the spectrum that disappeared when H2SO4 pretreatment was performed. Thermal gravimetric analyses (TGA) results showed that the samples present high stability and confirmed the reduction process. Moreover, the synthesized RGO sheets were comparable to those produced via more expensive and toxic methodologies.