Carbon Nanotubes Made From Old Plastic Bags

Carbon Nanotubes Made From Old Plastic Bags

By Shinji Tutoru

UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE, SA, AUSTRALIA. Carbon nanotubes are small pipes made from rolled up carbon atoms and are used for several hundred applications. Some of which include uses for clothing, green technology, medicine, filtering toxic chemicals, dissolved salts and biological contaminants from water which makes it a very important element in the modern world. The only problem that currently lies with carbon nanotubes is the cost and inconvenience to produce it.

Just recently, a group of researchers claimed that they might have just found an inexpensive and easier way to produce carbon nanotubes. The best part about the research is that they were able to make carbon nanotubes out of plastic bags which is considered one of the biggest sources of global waste problem. It’s just like “killing two birds with one stone” because carbon nanotubes are made just as plastic bags are disposed of.

The researchers chose to use disposable plastic bags to produce carbon nanotubes because it contains a lot of carbon. This study is not the first as researchers were able to manufacture carbon nanotubes from plastic bags back in 2009. However, the process that they had to go through was much more complicated and produced highly toxic by-products.

In the new method, old plastic bags are vaporized and then a sheet of specially designed template material is added instead of messy chemicals. The nanomaterial used is covered by tiny nano-pores that collect the free carbon atoms which guide the carbon atoms to bind together as nanotubes as the old plastic bags are disintegrated.

The study is conducted by Professor Dusan Losic and his team of researchers. The new process that they were able to develop aims to lower the cost of producing carbon nanotubes and at the same time, lower the increasing global waste problem involving plastic bags.

Invention Carbon Nanotubes From Old Plastic Bags
Organization University of Adelaide
Researcher Professor Dusan Losic and team
Field(s) Australia, plastic bags, plastic, carbon, carbon nanotubes, nanotubes, chemistry, nanomaterial
Further Information

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