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Home > News > Best Recycling Ever: Turning Old Plastic Bags into Carbon Nanotubes

December 14th, 2009

Best Recycling Ever: Turning Old Plastic Bags into Carbon Nanotubes

Abstract:
Most shoppers probably don't even bother recycling their plastic bags at the local supermarket, but maybe this development will titillate the geek inside everyone. A chemist has created an "upcycling" method of turning the disposable bags into carbon nanotubes, according to New Scientist.

Vilas Ganpat Pol developed his method at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. His secret: cooking small 1-gram pieces of high or low-density polyethylene (HDPE and LDPE) at 1292 degrees F (700 degrees C) for two hours, along with a cobalt acetate catalyst. Such high temperatures break down the chemical bonds of plastic and cause carbon nanotubes to grow on pieces of the catalyst.

Source:
popsci.com

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