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Upcycling of face masks to application-rich multi- and single-walled carbon nanotubes

  • Carbon Letters
  • Abbr : Carbon Lett.
  • 2022, 32(7), pp.1681-1688
  • DOI : 10.1007/s42823-022-00398-8
  • Publisher : Korean Carbon Society
  • Research Area : Natural Science > Natural Science General > Other Natural Sciences General
  • Received : May 23, 2022
  • Accepted : August 8, 2022
  • Published : December 1, 2022

Gangoli Varun Shenoy 1 Mahy Thomas 2 Yick Tim 2 Niu Yubiao 3 Palmer Richard E. 3 Orbaek White Alvin 2

1Department of Chemical Engineering
2Energy Safety Research Institute, Swansea University Bay Campus
3Nanomaterials Lab, Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Swansea University

Accredited

ABSTRACT

We report the use of face mask materials as a carbon precursor for the synthesis of multi- and single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in an open-loop chemical recycling process. Novel surgical mask precursors were suspended in toluene and injected into a chemical vapor deposition reactor previously optimized for CNT production using liquid injection. The CNTs were collected and characterized using resonant Raman spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) before being turned into fibrils that were tested for electrical conductance. Once confirmed and repeated for statistical accuracy, a CNT-based Ethernet cable was manufactured and tested using iPerf3 for uplink and downlink speeds exceeding broadband standards worldwide. Radial breathing modes from Raman spectroscopy indicate single walled CNTs (SWCNTs) with diameters ranging from 0.8 to 1.55 nm and this matches well with TEM observations of SWCNTs with 1.5 nm diameter. This work pushes the horizon of feedstocks useful for CNT and SWCNT production in particular; this work demonstrates upcycling of materials fated for disposal into materials with positive net value and plenty of real-world applications.

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Scopus Citation Counts (1) This is the result of checking the information with the same ISSN, publication year, volume, and start page between articles in KCI and the SCOPUS journals. (as of 2023-10-01)

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