Sunday December 8, 2019
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Old Newspapers Can Be Used To Produce Carbon Nanotubes on Large Scale

The study, published in the Journal of Carbon Research, details the research experiments carried out in producing carbon nanotubes

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Newspapers
The large surface area of Newspapers offered an ideal way to chemically synthesise carbon nanotubes. Pixabay

Old newspapers can be used as a low cost, eco-friendly material to grow single-walled carbon nanotubes on a large scale, says a study.

Carbon nanotubes are tiny molecules with incredible physical properties that can be used in a huge range of things, such as conductive films for touchscreen displays, flexible electronics, fabrics that create energy and antennas for 5G networks.

“Newspapers have the benefit of being used in a roll-to-roll process in a stacked form making it an ideal candidate as a low-cost stackable 2D surface to grow carbon nanotubes,” said lead researcher Bruce Brinson from the Rice University in the US.

However, not all newspaper is equally good – only newspaper produced with sizing made from kaolin, which is china clay, resulted in carbon nanotube growth, said the researchers.

The study, published in the Journal of Carbon Research, details the research experiments carried out in producing carbon nanotubes which could have the potential to solve some of the problems associated with their large scale production such as, the high cost of preparing a suitable surface for chemical growth and the difficulties in scaling up the process.

The research team discovered that the large surface area of newspapers provided an unlikely but ideal way to chemically grow carbon nanotubes.

While there have been previous research that shows that graphene, carbon nanotubes and carbon dots can be been synthesised on a variety of materials, such as food waste, vegetation waste, animal, bird or insect waste and chemically grown on natural materials, to date, this research has been limited, according to the researchers.

Newspapers
Old Newspapers can be used as a low cost, eco-friendly material to grow single-walled carbon nanotubes on a large scale, says a study. Pixabay

“With our new research, we have found a continuous flow system that dramatically reduces the cost of both substrate and post synthesis process which could impact on the future mass manufacture of single walled carbon nanotubes,” said Andrew Barron, Professor at Rice University.

“Many substances including talc, calcium carbonate, and titanium dioxide can be used in sizing in papers which act as a filler to help with their levels of absorption and wear,” said Indian-origin researcher and study co-author Varun Shenoy Gangoli.

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“However it was our observation that kaolin sizing, and not calcium carbonate sizing, showed us how the growth catalyst, which in our case was iron, is affected by the chemical nature of the substrate,” Gangoli added.

The study revealed that the large surface area of newspapers offered an ideal way to chemically synthesise carbon nanotubes. (IANS)

Next Story

Here are Ways to Make Your Office Eco-Friendly

Make your office environment friendly

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Office
Anyone who spends most of their time in the office should adopt ways to make their offices eco-friendly. Lifetime Stock

BY PUJA GUPTA

Conscious efforts are needed to make our surroundings more environment friendly. And as people spend a huge chunk of their day and life in the office, hence it should employ tools that can help conserve energy and decrease uses of non-renewable resources. Nakul Mathur, Managing Director, Avanta India shares some tips:

1. Reduce the use of paper

One should try to use digital copies as much as possible; it not only enables us to save trees but makes documents safer and easier to store. In case, it is extremely important to take printouts, the office should implement a policy of printing on both sides of the paper. To move towards eco-friendly step, offices should also have the policy to use recycled papers wherever the requirement is.

2. Reduce energy consumption

There are multiple ways to achieve this. Turning off the lights in rooms where no one is using will help to reduce power consumption. Switch off computer screens and another electronic device at the end of the day is an excellent habit to get into. Basically, anything that is not being used, see if you can power it down. Rather than relying on the staff to remember to turn off lights and power down electronics, install motion-activated lights and utilize power-saver modes. Power-saver modes will put computers, printers, and other electronics to sleep, or shut them down entirely.

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The usage of paper should be reduced in the office. Lifetime Stock

3. Use reusable containers

There should be a complete ban on using plastic items such as bottles or containers in offices. Employees should be encouraged to always carry jute bags or cloth bags. People should stop consuming juices or other beverages that come in plastic bottles. Inside the premises, the office should only keep reusable containers to be used for drinking water or coffee. This will help in spreading the message that reduces the use of plastic is a major step towards becoming eco-friendly.

4. Recycle etiquette

Install recycling bins at places that are easily accessible for employees. Everyone should be aware of the different bins which are kept to segregate the waste and the usage of those bins in an appropriate manner. This way we can encourage the employees towards keeping the eco-friendly environment at the office. In fact, if we can recycle around 30 per cent of our trash we will save energy equal to around 12 billion gallons of gasoline.

5. Sustainability team and three R’s

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Basically, being eco-friendly boils down to three Rs — Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Every office must appoint a sustainability team that will keep an eye on all the employees who follow three R’s. The following monthly targets can be set for employees and awards given to encourage everyone become eco-friendly. This type of regular environment awareness sessions should also be organized and every new employee should be informed about the eco-friendly policy. (IANS)