Topical Collection "Carbon in the Circular Economy"

Editors

Dr. Alvin Orbaek White
Website
Collection Editor
Energy Safety Research Institute, Swansea University, Bay Campus, Swansea SA1 8EN, UK
Interests: carbon nanotube synthesis; applications and characterization; electron microscopy of carbon nanotubes; electrochemistry in organic synthesis; electro organic synthetic chemistry; catalysis and catalytic nanoparticles; nano medicine; aerospace and deep space applications; science education using nano materials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Enrico Andreoli
Website
Collection Editor
Energy Safety Research Institute, College of Engineering, Swansea University, Bay Campus, Swansea SA1 8EN, UK
Interests: carbon dioxide capture and utilisation; industrial decarbonisation; sustainable and clean energy generation; materials science and engineering; nanocarbons; electrochemistry; photovoltaics; sensors; drug delivery
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Carbon is one of the most heavily extracted materials on the planet, constituting the ingredient that serves as the basis for most of the materials of the modern world—the list ranging from fuels to medicines, solvents, plastics, rubbers, and many more. Without access to carbon and, consequently, these materials, the modern world might grind to a halt. This is especially pertinent in a peak-oil scenario. If we run out of oil and the main supply of carbon goes dry, then how will modern society continue to grow? How will it even maintain equilibrium? Yet, there is a growing body of scientific, technical, and innovative possibilities that use pre-existing materials, which are reprocessed to create the materials of our future. Materials that have been extracted, used, and then spent can be upcycled and circularized back into the economy for continued use. Additionally, materials can be created to have several lifecycles designed into their properties from the outset. In this way, the need to recycle is mitigated, and ultimately, the notion of waste is flipped on its head. Waste is a resource and a commodity, not a burden or a health hazard. Ultimately, the goal is to create materials that are designed to avoid landfill or spillage to our atmospheres at all costs. Once materials enter landfill, they historically end up in the food chain (e.g., microplastic formation from plastics), and once they end up in our atmosphere, they affect the natural environment (e.g., decreased breathing quality due to carbon particles in the air).

This Special Issue is dedicated to showcasing the various methods and materials that can be created that avoid the pathway to landfill. This is a call to action for scientists and engineers to take a cold hard look at the world in which we live. Do you really want your grandchildren to drink the microplastics that our generation created? Do you want them to live on a planet where the air is unbreathable? If such a future sounds grim to you and you have ideas and technologies to avoid it, then this Special Issue is for you. This problem is multifaceted, so the solution will require input from multiple sources and disciplines. We therefore welcome contributions from all disciplines that uncover and educate us on ways and means to keep carbon in the economy and prevent its escape into our living and breathing environment.

Dr. Alvin Orbaek White
Dr. Enrico Andreoli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. C — Journal of Carbon Research is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • carbon
  • carbon utilization
  • carbon recycling
  • green manufacturing
  • circular economy

Published Papers (3 papers)

2019

Open AccessArticle
From Newspaper Substrate to Nanotubes—Analysis of Carbonized Soot Grown on Kaolin Sized Newsprint
C 2019, 5(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/c5040066 - 29 Oct 2019
Abstract
Herein, we report the successful use of newspaper as a substrate for the growth of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) with intriguing results demonstrating that (a) the large surface area of newspaper stock allows for SWCNT growth and (b) [...] Read more.
Herein, we report the successful use of newspaper as a substrate for the growth of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) with intriguing results demonstrating that (a) the large surface area of newspaper stock allows for SWCNT growth and (b) only newspaper produced with kaolin clay sizing allowed for SWCNT growth. Kaolin newsprint was impregnated with Al2O3 and Fe(NO3)3·9H2O (as precursors to FexOy nanoparticles), and calcined (30 min at 400 °C). The subsequent char residue was loaded into a CVD chamber and used as a substrate for SWCNT growth at 750 °C, using H2, C2H2, and water vapor as the growth gas. Samples of raw carbon soot exhibiting fluorescence spectra, indicative of SWCNTs, were further evaluated by resonant Raman spectroscopy, and by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The calcinated substrate remnants were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Experiments utilizing paper substrates produced with kaolin filler resulted in hybridized sp2–sp3 bonded carbon species. The soot was found to consist primarily of carbon nanotubes and bi-layer graphene in the form of collapsed nanotubes, also known as graphene nanoribbons (GNR). Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
The State of HiPco Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in 2019
C 2019, 5(4), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/c5040065 - 28 Oct 2019
Abstract
High-pressure carbon monoxide (HiPco)-synthesized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have been a widely studied carbon nanomaterial for nearly two decades. It has been the de facto standard for SWCNT research, be it functionalization, separation and purification, or composites, as a result of the consistent, [...] Read more.
High-pressure carbon monoxide (HiPco)-synthesized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have been a widely studied carbon nanomaterial for nearly two decades. It has been the de facto standard for SWCNT research, be it functionalization, separation and purification, or composites, as a result of the consistent, high-quality material that was made available at an affordable price to researchers worldwide. The recent shutdown of the HiPco reactor at Rice University has resulted in a scarcity of HiPco material available to the research community, and a new source of similar SWCNTs is desperately needed. Continued research and development on the design, materials used, and the overall process have led to a new HiPco material, referred to as NoPo HiPCO®, as an alternative to the erstwhile Rice HiPco SWCNTs. In this work, we have compared the two HiPco materials, and aim to provide more clarity for researchers globally on the state of HiPco SWCNTs for research and applications alike in 2019. Full article
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Chemical Recycling of Consumer-Grade Black Plastic into Electrically Conductive Carbon Nanotubes
C 2019, 5(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/c5020032 - 12 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The global plastics crisis has recently focused scientists’ attention on finding technical solutions for the ever-increasing oversupply of plastic waste. Black plastic is one of the greatest contributors to landfill waste, because it cannot be sorted using industrial practices based on optical reflection. [...] Read more.
The global plastics crisis has recently focused scientists’ attention on finding technical solutions for the ever-increasing oversupply of plastic waste. Black plastic is one of the greatest contributors to landfill waste, because it cannot be sorted using industrial practices based on optical reflection. However, it can be readily upcycled into carbon nanotubes (CNTs) using a novel liquid injection reactor (LIR) chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method. In this work, CNTs were formed using black and white polystyrene plastics to demonstrate that off-the-shelf materials can be used as feedstock for growth of CNTs. Scanning electron microscopy analysis suggests the CNTs from plastic sources improve diameter distribution homogeneity, with slightly increased diameters compared with control samples. Slight improvements in quality, as determined by Raman spectroscopy of the D and G peaks, suggest that plastics could lead to increased quality of CNTs. A small device was constructed as a demonstrator model to increase impact and public engagement. Full article
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Figure 1

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