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Article

Epoxy Composites Reinforced with ZnO from Waste Alkaline Batteries

1
Materials Science and Engineering Area, ESCET, Rey Juan Carlos University, C/Tulipán s/n, 28933 Madrid, Spain
2
Materials and Aerospacial Production, Politechnic University, Plaza del Cardenal Cisneros, 3, 28040 Madrid, Spain
3
National Centre for Metallurgical Research (CENIM), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Avda. Gregorio del Amo, 8, 28040 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maryam Tabrizian
Materials 2022, 15(8), 2842; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15082842
Received: 14 March 2022 / Revised: 4 April 2022 / Accepted: 6 April 2022 / Published: 13 April 2022
The zinc alkaline battery is one of the most popular sources of portable electrical energy, with more than 300,000 tons being consumed per year. Accordingly, it is critical to recycle its components. In this work, we propose the use of zinc oxide (ZnO) microparticles recovered from worn-out batteries as fillers of epoxy resins. These nanocomposites can be used as protective coatings or pigments and as structural composites with high thermal stability. The addition of ceramic nanofillers, such as ZnO or/and TiO2, could enhance the thermal and mechanical properties, and the hardness and hydrophobicity, of the epoxy resins, depending on several factors. Accordingly, different nanocomposites reinforced with recycled ZnO and commercial ZnO and TiO2 nanoparticles have been manufactured with different nanofiller contents. In addition to the different ceramic oxides, the morphology and size of fillers are different. Recycled ZnO are“desert roses” such as microparticles, commercial ZnO are rectangular parallelepipeds nanoparticles, and commercial TiO2 are smaller spherical nanoparticles. The addition of ceramic fillers produces a small increase of the glass transition temperature (<2%), together with an enhancement of the barrier effect of the epoxy resin, reducing the water diffusion coefficient (<21%), although the maximum water uptake remains constant. The nanocomposite water absorption is fully reversible by subsequent thermal treatment, recovering its initial thermomechanical behavior. The water angle contact (WCA) also increases (~12%) with the presence of ceramic particles, although the highest hydrophobicity (35%) is obtained when the epoxy resin reinforced with recycled flowerlike ZnO microparticles is etched with acid stearic and acetic acid, inducing the corrosion of the ZnO on the surface and therefore the increment of the surface roughness. The presence of desert rose ZnO particles enhances the de lotus effect. View Full-Text
Keywords: recycle of battery waste; epoxy composite; ceramic oxide particles recycle of battery waste; epoxy composite; ceramic oxide particles
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lorero, I.; Campo, M.; Arribas, C.; Prolongo, M.G.; López, F.A.; Prolongo, S.G. Epoxy Composites Reinforced with ZnO from Waste Alkaline Batteries. Materials 2022, 15, 2842. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15082842

AMA Style

Lorero I, Campo M, Arribas C, Prolongo MG, López FA, Prolongo SG. Epoxy Composites Reinforced with ZnO from Waste Alkaline Batteries. Materials. 2022; 15(8):2842. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15082842

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lorero, Isaac, Mónica Campo, Carmen Arribas, Margarita Gonzalez Prolongo, Felix Antonio López, and Silvia G. Prolongo. 2022. "Epoxy Composites Reinforced with ZnO from Waste Alkaline Batteries" Materials 15, no. 8: 2842. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15082842

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