Since its discovery by stickytape-toting Manchester University researchers in 2004, graphene has been heralded as a wonder material.
As well as some staggering properties the material can be easily sourced, or so researchers claim.
Now a team at Rice University has uncovered what might be the most abundant source of the highly sought after material yet – Girl Scout cookies.
In fact, they reckon that just one box of the biscuits could have a street value of $15 billion.
According to a report released by the univeristy, any carbon source can be used to yield the raw materials needed for graphene production.
Having discovered that table sugar could produce graphene, the team at Rice University turned to the Houston Girl Scouts to find one of the richest sources yet.
One box of cookies is able to provide enough sugar to cover three football fields. So with graphene currently retailing at around $250 for a two inch square piece, the value of the cookies ran into the billions of dollars.
“That’s a lot of cash!” said one of the scout troop members, according to a statement.
Despite the draw of big bucks, it certainly opens up some ethical questions.
In the short term graphene could be a good way for scouts to make some extra pocket money. But a ‘sweatshop’ style situation with Girl Scouts churning out box after box to meet global graphene demand should be avoided at all costs.
Along with child labour concerns, there’s an element of discrimination. TechEye contacted Boy Scout groups in the UK and US to hear from Akela about whether it’s unfair that it’s just the girls cashing in on the graphene gold-rush.
“We have no plans to undertake the production of Graphene in the UK,” the Scout Association told us.