Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Synthesis of Carbon Nanotubes via Liquid Injection Chemical Vapour Deposition as a Vector for the Chemical Recycling of Waste Composite Carbon Sources

Version 1 : Received: 24 November 2021 / Approved: 25 November 2021 / Online: 25 November 2021 (16:03:05 CET)

How to cite: Orbaek White, A.; Hedayati, A.; Yick, T.; Gangoli, V.S.; Niu, Y.; Lethbridge, S.; Tsampanakis, I.; Swan, G.; Pointeaux, L.; Crane, A.; Charles, R.; Sallah-Conteh, J.; Anderson, A.O.; Davies, M.L.; Palmer, R.E. Synthesis of Carbon Nanotubes via Liquid Injection Chemical Vapour Deposition as a Vector for the Chemical Recycling of Waste Composite Carbon Sources. Preprints 2021, 2021110483 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0483.v1). Orbaek White, A.; Hedayati, A.; Yick, T.; Gangoli, V.S.; Niu, Y.; Lethbridge, S.; Tsampanakis, I.; Swan, G.; Pointeaux, L.; Crane, A.; Charles, R.; Sallah-Conteh, J.; Anderson, A.O.; Davies, M.L.; Palmer, R.E. Synthesis of Carbon Nanotubes via Liquid Injection Chemical Vapour Deposition as a Vector for the Chemical Recycling of Waste Composite Carbon Sources. Preprints 2021, 2021110483 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0483.v1).

Abstract

For every three people on the planet there is approximately two Tonne (Te) of available plastic waste. We show that carbon recovery from polystyrene (PS) plastic is enhanced by the co-addition to solvents to grow carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by liquid injection chemical vapour deposition. Polystyrene was loaded up to 4 wt% in toluene and heated to 780 °C in the presence of a ferrocene catalyst and a hydrogen/argon carrier gas in a 1:19 ratio. High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and Raman spectroscopy were used to identify multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The PS addition in the range from 0 to 4 wt% showed improved quality and CNT homogeneity; Raman “Graphitic/Defective” (G/D) values increased from 1.9 to 2.3; mean CNT diameters increased from 43.0 to 49.2 nm; and maximum CNT yield increased from 11.3% to 14.2%. Since both the CNT diameters and the percentage yield increased with respect to polystyrene addition, we conclude that carbon from the PS contributes to the carbon within the MWCNTs. The electrical contact resistance of acid washed Bucky papers produced from each loading, ranged from 2.2 to 4.4 Ohm, with no direct correlation to PS loading. Due to this narrow range, the materials with different loading were mixed to create six wires of an Ethernet cable and tested using iPerf to give uplink and downlink speeds of ~99.5 Mbps, comparable to Cu wire of identical dimension (~99.5 Mbps). The lifecycle assessment (LCA) of CNT wire production was compared to copper wire production for the use case in a Boeing 747-400 over the lifespan of the craft. Due to their lightweight nature the CNT wires decreased the CO2 footprint by 21 kTonne (kTe) over the aircraft lifespan.

Keywords

carbon nanotube; plastic; chemical recycling, life cycle assessment; Ethernet; circular economy; data transmission, carbon footprint

Subject

MATERIALS SCIENCE, Nanotechnology

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