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Chemical Recycling of Consumer-Grade Black Plastic into Electrically Conductive Carbon Nanotubes

Ali Hedayati, Chris Barnett, Gemma Swan, Alvin Orbaek White Orcid Logo

C - An Open Access Journal of Carbon Research (C), Volume: 5, Issue: 2, Start page: 32

Swansea University Author: Alvin Orbaek White Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.3390/c5020032

Abstract

The global plastics crisis has recently focused scientists’ attention on finding technical solutions for the ever-increasing oversupply of plastic waste. Black plastic is one of the greatest contributors to landfill waste, because it cannot be sorted using industrial practices based on optical refle...

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Published in: C - An Open Access Journal of Carbon Research (C)
ISSN: 2311-5629
Published: MDPI AG 2019
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa49811
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Abstract: The global plastics crisis has recently focused scientists’ attention on finding technical solutions for the ever-increasing oversupply of plastic waste. Black plastic is one of the greatest contributors to landfill waste, because it cannot be sorted using industrial practices based on optical reflection. However, it can be readily upcycled into carbon nanotubes (CNTs) using a novel liquid injection reactor (LIR) chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method. In this work, CNTs were formed using black and white polystyrene plastics to demonstrate that off-the-shelf materials can be used as feedstock for growth of CNTs. Scanning electron microscopy analysis suggests the CNTs from plastic sources improve diameter distribution homogeneity, with slightly increased diameters compared with control samples. Slight improvements in quality, as determined by Raman spectroscopy of the D and G peaks, suggest that plastics could lead to increased quality of CNTs. A small device was constructed as a demonstrator model to increase impact and public engagement.
Item Description: This international collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) led to direct talks with largest global suppliers of electrical cables, Prysmian Group (Don Parris Don.Parris@prysmiangroup.com).Funding value £16,358 was raised from the European Regional Development Fund. Supported by SALTS Healthcare Ltd (Anna Coles anna.coles@salts.co.uk) who co-sponsored KESS student. Discussions about nanotube wires led to invitation from Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology to contribute to POSTbriefs POST-PB-0028. Was invited to present at New Zealand Institute of Chemistry(https://nzic.org.nz/) (February 22, 2019), thanks to this paper.
Keywords: circular economy; carbon nanotube; conduction; chemical recycling, carbon wires
College: College of Engineering
Issue: 2
Start Page: 32