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Nanomaterials 2017, 7(10), 284; doi:10.3390/nano7100284

Synthesis of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes from Plastic Waste Using a Stainless-Steel CVD Reactor as Catalyst

DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials and the Molecular Sciences Institute, School of Chemistry, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2050, South Africa
Present Address: Interdisciplinary Programme in Climate Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai 400076, Maharashtra, India.
Present Address: Department of Chemistry, Trinity Western University, 7600 Glover Road, Langley, BC V2Y 1Y1, Canada.
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Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract

The disposal of non-biodegradable plastic waste without further upgrading/downgrading is not environmentally acceptable and many methods to overcome the problem have been proposed. Herein we indicate a simple method to make high-value nanomaterials from plastic waste as a partial solution to the environmental problem. Laboratory-based waste centrifuge tubes made of polypropylene were chosen as a carbon source to show the process principle. In the process, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were synthesized from plastic waste in a two-stage stainless steel 316 (SS 316) metal tube that acted as both reactor vessel and catalyst. The steel reactor contains Fe (and Ni, and various alloys), which act as the catalyst for the carbon conversion process. The reaction and products were studied using electron probe microanalysis, thermogravimetric analysis, Raman spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Optimization studies to determine the effect of different parameters on the process showed that the highest yield and most graphitized MWCNTs were formed at 900 °C under the reaction conditions used (yield 42%; Raman ID/IG ratio = 0.48). The high quality and high yield of the MWCNTs that were produced in a flow reactor from plastic waste using a two stage SS 316 chemical vapor deposition (CVD) furnace did not require the use of an added catalyst. View Full-Text
Keywords: plastic waste; multi-walled carbon nanotubes; upgrading of plastic waste; two-stage self-catalytic CVD reactor; dusting catalyst plastic waste; multi-walled carbon nanotubes; upgrading of plastic waste; two-stage self-catalytic CVD reactor; dusting catalyst
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tripathi, P.K.; Durbach, S.; Coville, N.J. Synthesis of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes from Plastic Waste Using a Stainless-Steel CVD Reactor as Catalyst. Nanomaterials 2017, 7, 284.

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