Navigation Links
Turning plastic bags into high-tech materials
Date:9/25/2013

University of Adelaide researchers have developed a process for turning waste plastic bags into a high-tech nanomaterial.

The innovative nanotechnology uses non-biodegradable plastic grocery bags to make 'carbon nanotube membranes' - highly sophisticated and expensive materials with a variety of potential advanced applications including filtration, sensing, energy storage and a range of biomedical innovations.

"Non-biodegradable plastic bags are a serious menace to natural ecosystems and present a problem in terms of disposal," says Professor Dusan Losic, ARC Future Fellow and Research Professor of Nanotechnology in the University's School of Chemical Engineering.

"Transforming these waste materials through 'nanotechnological recycling' provides a potential solution for minimizing environmental pollution at the same time as producing high-added value products."

Carbon nanotubes are tiny cylinders of carbon atoms, one nanometer in diameter (1/10,000 the diameter of a human hair). They are the strongest and stiffest materials yet discovered hundreds of times stronger than steel but six times lighter and their unique mechanical, electrical, thermal and transport properties present exciting opportunities for research and development. They are already used in a variety of industries including in electronics, sports equipment, long-lasting batteries, sensing devices and wind turbines.

The University of Adelaide's Nanotech Research Group has 'grown' the carbon nanotubes onto nanoporous alumina membranes. They used pieces of grocery plastic bags which were vaporized in a furnace to produce carbon layers that line the pores in the membrane to make the tiny cylinders (the carbon nanotubes). The idea was conceived and carried out by PhD student Tariq Altalhi.

"Initially we used ethanol to produce the carbon nanotubes," says Professor Losic. "But my student had the idea that any carbon source should be useable."

The huge potential market for carbon nanotubes hinges on industry's ability to produce large quantities more cheaply and uniformly. Current synthesis methods usually involve complex processes and equipment, and most companies on the market measure production output in only several grams per day.

"In our laboratory, we've developed a new and simplified method of fabrication with controllable dimensions and shapes, and using a waste product as the carbon source," says Professor Losic.

The process is also catalyst and solvent free, which means the plastic waste can be used without generating poisonous compounds.

This research has been published online ahead of print in the journal Carbon.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dusan Losic
dusan.losic@adelaide.edu.au
61-883-134-648
University of Adelaide
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Galectin Therapeutics: Turning Atlanta into Americas Next Silicon Valley
2. Turning smartphones into secure and versatile keys
3. MarketPublishers.com Added New Report on Polycarboxylate Superplasticizer Market to Its Catalogue
4. Green Dot Holdings LLC Manufacturing New High-Performance Bioplastic Resin Compounds for MCG BioComposites LLC
5. Suria Plastic Surgery Announces an Open House at Their Plantation, Florida Office
6. Renowned New Jersey Plastic Surgeon Dr. Fred Coville Receives Prestigious Speaking Honor
7. Join Cornerstone Plastic Surgery for an Exclusive Evening with Internationally Reknowned New York Trained Plastic Surgeon Frederick A. Coville, MD
8. Leading Pipette Distributor Pipette.com Now Stocks Transfer Pipettes: Simport’s Dropette and Heathrow Scientific Disposable Plastic Transfer Pipettes
9. New Medical Education Program Online Helps Physicians to Make The Diagnosis of Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
10. Palm Clinic New Zealand Doctor Trains Chinese Doctors at International Micro-Plastic Annual Exchange Conference
11. Green Dot’s Terratek Bioplastics to be Featured by Material ConneXion at Luxe Pack and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program Committee is pleased ... scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy. Each ... leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be held February 26-March ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 Bar ... Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten billion ... continue to feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of our valuable ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center announces ... needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and health ... As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, Lilach ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... , ... October 06, 2017 ... ... experience providing advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, ... in application consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of contract analysis ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/13/2017)... 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event ... emerging and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and ... alongside the expo portion of the event and feature ... focused on trending topics within 3D printing and smart ... event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Florida , April 11, 2017 ... a security technology company, announces the appointment of independent Directors ... Bendheim to its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s ... ... of NXT-ID, we look forward to their guidance and benefiting ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , a ... the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has ... the linking of an iris image with a face ... represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):