Flash graphene made from plastic by a Rice University lab begins as post-consumer plastic received from a recycler. It is then mixed with carbon black and processed into turbostratic graphene via timed pulses of AC and DC electricity. Courtesy of the Tour Group
Rice University lab detours potential environmental hazard into useful material
Plastic waste comes back in black as pristine graphene, thanks to ACDC.
That’s what Rice University scientists call the process they employed to make efficient use of waste plastic that would otherwise add to the planet’s environmental woes. In this instance, the lab of Rice chemist James Tour modified its method to make flash graphene to enhance it for recycling plastic into graphene.
The lab’s study appears in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano.
Simply, instead of raising the temperature of a carbon source with direct current, as in the original process, the lab first exposes plastic waste to around eight seconds of high-intensity alternating current, followed by the DC jolt.
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