Polymers in waste can be useful sources for the preparation of activated carbon, which has a myriad of uses in extraction, filtration, and purification due to its high surface area and absorption properties. Activated carbon is commonly produced from plant matter or coal.
Mietek Jaroniec and co-workers, Kent State University, OH, USA, have prepared activated carbon from waste CDs and DVDs, which are made from polycarbonates. The researchers carbonized the discs at 500 °C and activated the resulting carbon with either KOH or CO2.
The resulting carbons had surface areas of roughly 500 to 2240 m2/g and showed excellent properties for absorbing H2, CO2, and benzene. The team has thus prepared a promising material for CO2 capture, absorption of organic compounds, and hydrogen storage from a common component of household waste.
- Adsorption Properties of Activated Carbons Prepared from Waste CDs and DVDs,
Jerzy Choma, Michal Marszewski, Lukasz Osuchowski, Jacek Jagiello, Aleksandra Dziura, Mietek Jaroniec,
ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2015, 3, 733–742.