Flash joule heating recycles plastic into graphene for smart implants

Flash Joule heating can be used to make carbon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers from mixed waste plastics, a method that is 90% more efficient than existing production processes. The nanotube diameter can be controlled by changing the power or catalyst used. (Image courtesy of Tour lab/Rice University)

Scientists at Rice University developed a way to turn recycled waste plastic into a hybrid carbon nanomaterial for a multitude of uses.

Researchers expect plastic production to triple by 2050, while plastic waste globally doubled over the past 20 years. Most waste ends up in landfills, incinerated or otherwise mismanaged, they said, citing the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

According to a news release, some estimates suggest that only 5% of the waste is recycled.

Rice graduate student and lead author of a study, Kevin Wyss, and a team found a new way to make the most of th…

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