(318c) Greener Processing for the Conversion of Waste Plastics into Energy Storing Carbons

Pol, V. G., Purdue University
Environmentally harmful plastic waste is a major concern throughout the world. The developed novel autogenic process completely destroys unsorted plastic waste in a technologically beneficial, environmentally responsible manner before the plastic enters the waste stream. The one-step, low-energy, solvent-less process is called “upcycling” because it produces products having greater value than the original plastics, particularly structurally tunable carbon microspheres and carbon sheets that have important tribological and battery electrode applications

Rechargeable Li-ion batteries are the most promising energy storing sources in current generation of portable electronics, medical devices and electric vehicles.Developed upcycled sustainable carbon spheres and sheets are promising anode electrode materials for Li- and Na-ion batteries. This 2015 R and D 100 award winning technology produced hard carbon spheres comprised of disordered graphitic planes, that yields equivalent electrochemical capacity at higher potentials (vs. metallic lithium) thereby offering enhanced safety.