A novel approach to synthesize graphene nano-sheets by combining chemical treatment and microwave radiation is demonstrated using eco-friendly chemicals. Microwave radiation was used to produce strong expansion of the graphite worm in the thickness direction. The graphene nano-sheets obtained in this study were characterized by morphology images, nanoprofilometry, Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Besides being eco-friendly, the proposed method has also the attractive advantage of being rapidly able to produce a lot of graphene nano-sheets. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.