A method of producing exfoliated graphite, flexible graphite, or nano-scaled graphene platelets. The method comprises: (a) forming a graphite intercalation compound by a chemical oxidation reaction which uses a combination of a carboxylic acid and hydrogen peroxide as an intercalate source; and (b) rapidly heating the graphite intercalation compound to a desired temperature for a length of time sufficient for producing exfoliated graphite. The method may further comprise a step of subjecting the exfoliated graphite to a mechanical shearing treatment to produce nano-scaled graphene platelets. Alternatively, the method may further comprise a step of compressing the exfoliated graphite to form a flexible graphite product. The exfoliation step in the instant invention does not involve the evolution of undesirable species, such as NO.sub.x and SO.sub.x, which are common by-products of exfoliating conventional sulfuric or nitric acid-intercalated graphite compounds. The nano-scaled platelets are candidate reinforcement fillers for polymer nanocomposites. Nano-scaled graphene platelets are much lower-cost alternatives to carbon nano-tubes or carbon nano-fibers.
GOVERNMENT GRANT INFORMATION
 This invention is based on the research result of a US Department of Energy (DoE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project. The US government has certain rights on this invention.