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A fast and inexpensive technology has been developed for converting large amounts of carbon-containing waste into graphene flakes.
The world today emits 30-40% of all productsfood due to spoilage, and the growth of the amount of plastic waste is already worried about all countries. At the same time, most of them contain carbon, which makes them suitable for the production of graphene, a two-dimensional material with a number of unique qualities.
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A team of chemists from Rice University combined these two factors and proposed an effective process that allows quickly process significant amounts of garbage into graphene, many times cheaper than other existing methods, such as peeling from graphite and chemical vapor deposition on metal foil.
They developed a special reactor in whichUnder the influence of Joule heating from an electric current, the temperature of the starting material rises to 3000 K. Under such conditions, the chemical bonds of substances break, carbon turns into turbostratic graphene, and other elements evaporate in the form of gas. By-products can be captured for future use.
According to chemists, during the process almostall energy is converted, so very little excess heat is produced. Excessive energy appears in the form of light. Since the technology does not require additional solvents and reagents, it is environmentally friendly.
The next few years the team plansto produce 500 grams of graphene per day with the help of its reactor, which will be used as additives for concrete, asphalt, materials for automobiles, clothes and much more.
This project is funded by the US Department of Energy, but with the current market price of graphene from $ 67 to $ 200 per kilogram, the technology may become commercially promising.
Earlier, we also reported that scientists created 18-carat gold from plastic.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo and video: Rice University