Science Plastic trash can now be recycled into ultra-strong graphene

tom_mai78101

The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
Staff member
Packaging from the grocery store, lint from our clothing, plastic shopping bags – plastics and microplastics are everywhere, and they’re not going anywhere. In fact, it will take them hundreds of years to decompose in landfills . In order to speed up this decomposition process, scientists from Rice University are transforming these discarded plastics into non-toxic, naturally occurring materials. They’re doing this by using a newly developed technique called “flash Joule heating,” to rapidly heat plastic materials to very high temperatures .

Currently, there are a few plastic recycling techniques that are widely used, with differing results. For example, plastic bags are a huge contributor to the plastic waste stream – Waste Management, a trash collection company, estimates that over one billion plastic bags are used each year in the US alone. Even more shockingly, each plastic bag is used for, on average, less than one hour. Currently, the most common way to recycle plastic bags is by compressing them into composite lumber or small pellets, which can be used for building materials . While this is an excellent way to reuse single-use plastic, this plastic still is not biodegradable.

In contrast, the “flash Joule heating” method turns plastic into graphene, which is highly recyclable and very stable. Graphene itself is incredibly strong and stretchy – 200 times stronger than steel. Graphene is a single layer form of graphite, a naturally occurring carbon-based mineral that is commonly found as pencil lead. Typically, graphite is mined and then mechanically processed in order to separate its layers, forming graphene. However, obtaining graphite can be expensive. By directly generating graphene from plastic waste, it is possible to reduce its production cost. Importantly, a reduced production cost can lead to broad implementation of graphene use outside of academic research – with lower production costs, graphene can be added to concrete, rubber, or asphalt to improve strength and performance. Innovations like this will likely make graphene much more widely available for commercial use.


Read more here. (Massive Science)
 

Ghan

Administrator - Servers are fun
Staff member
We need large scale plastic recycling. Let's hope this is the start of something big.
 
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    they did not winterize any of the plants and they froze
  • The Helper The Helper:
    it is not that power consumption went up it was available capacity went down with power plants freezing
  • Varine Varine:
    What a fucking disaster. Are all of the Texas people okay? I see TH is, are we the only two?
  • Varine Varine:
    How have the other states held up? I just got power back so I have no idea what's going on, we didn't get warning
  • Varine Varine:
    Why the fuck didn't they fix this ten years ago when it happened?
  • Blackveiled Blackveiled:
    I'm in it with you and TH as well. My power has been in and out, and I have a ruptured pipe that I need to fix, shouldn't be too bad to fix myself.
  • Varine Varine:
    I hope you're staying warm! Apparently the supply is coming up so hopefully we can get back to normal power soon, mine has been on for six hours now.
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    My power has been off most of the last 2 days. We had a generator installed 3 years ago though, so we're staying warm. Water is another issue...
  • The Helper The Helper:
    Where I live has a pool so we are using that to get water to flush the toilets. We have enough bottled water to drink and brush teeth and stuff but it has been a few days and no shower though....
  • Varine Varine:
    I had some water in gallon jugs, and got our water back on yesterday. We don't seem to have any leaks, but I haven't crawled down there to look yet.
  • The Helper The Helper:
    still no water I cannot remember when I last showered now I know how they felt in the old west lol
  • Varine Varine:
    My poor plants are happy, they aren
  • Varine Varine:
    aren't used to going this long without water or lights or normal heat. I think a couple of them froze, but they look like they'll make it
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    Well one of them is pretty rough but I think it was sick to begin with, that one always had some problems.
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    ???
  • Ghan Ghan:
    That is such a Texas thing to say lol
  • midnight8 midnight8:
    a positive could come out of this. So many people trapped at home could put a dent in the covid numbers in Texas
  • Varine Varine:
    That dude, Tom Boyd, is really upset about the backlash from his "it's your fault you're freezing" thing because he claims he resigned before saying it, so it wasn't like he said it in his official capacity or anything.
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    Almost as if he was saying "screw you guys, I'm going home"
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    I'm fairly new here still but that seems to be the analogous message by several of our politicians.
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