'Flash Joule' technique efficiently turns would-be pollution into valuable nanomaterials

Posted On: 2023-03-03

The amount of plastic waste produced globally has doubled over the past two decades, and plastic production is expected to triple by 2050, with most of it ending up in landfills, incinerated or otherwise mismanaged. Recycling plastic costs more than just producing new plastic, so there's very little economic incentive to recycle it. 

Using a flash Joule heating technique, researchers have begun turning plastic into valuable carbon nanotubes and hybrid nanomaterials. Compared to commercial methods for carbon nanotube production that are being used right now, this new method uses about 90% less energy and generates 90%-94% less carbon dioxide. By turning waste plastic into something more valuable, people can make money off of being responsible in how they deal with discarded plastics.