These scientists turned waste paper into electrodes for electric car batteries

These scientists turned waste paper into electrodes for electric car batteries

The paper used helped two researchers from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University create lithium-ion battery electrodes that are more efficient and durable than normal.

through a process called carbonizationScientists from NTU in Singapore have achieved something that seems hard to believe: from containers, bags, cardboard boxes, etc. an electrode made from used paper fibers.

Specifically, these scientists created anodes from waste paperthus being able to replace traditional ones made with natural graphite compounds in flakes, mesophase carbon microspheres or artificial graphite from petroleum coke.

How to make a battery anode from waste paper?

this Technique used by NTU scientists They used the process known as carbonization. This involves converting paper into pure carbon using high temperatures. The result of the process, in addition to pure carbon, is water vapor and oils, which can be used as biofuels.

To produce carbon anodes, several thin Kraft papers joined and laser cut to create different lattice geometries. The paper was then heated to 1,200 °C in an oven without oxygen to convert it to carbon and form the anodes.

NTU scientists with burnt paper in their hands. Photo: NTU

The resulting anode, superior durability, flexibility and electrochemical properties. Additionally, the combination of mechanical strength and toughness exhibited by NTU-made anodes will enable phone, laptop and car batteries to better withstand the impact from drops and bumps.

Another important fact is that carbonization is carried out in the absence of oxygen, which facilitates emission. negligible amount of carbon dioxide. As a result, the process is a greener alternative to burning this waste, which produces large amounts of greenhouse gases.

Sustainable and scalable alternative

Lai Changquan, Assistant Professor and Project Director of the NTU School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said: “Paper is used in many areas of our daily lives, from gift wrapping and crafts to countless industrial uses.”.

“The way we steer paper towards the growing need for devices like electric vehicles and smartphones will not only reduce carbon emissions, but also reduce carbon emissions. It will reduce dependence on mining and heavy industrial methods”large.

(A) Top view, (B) side view and (C) cross-section SEM images of Kraft paper and acrylic tape before and after carbonization.
(D) Magnified view of carbonized nanocellulose fibrils. Photo: NTU

Study co-author Lim Guo Yao, a research engineer in NTU’s School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, says these anodes “show a combination of strengths not found in conventional anodes, such as durability, shock absorption, and electrical conductivity.” .

“These structural and functional features show that Our Kraft paper-based anodes are a sustainable and scalable alternative to existing carbon materials.and the nascent field of structural batteries would find economic value in high-end, demanding multifunctional applications.

Refinement process of scientific experiment. Photo: NTU

Finally, Assistant Professor Lai added: “Our method transforms a common and ubiquitous material into one that is extremely durable and in high demand.. We hope our anodes will meet the growing global need for a greener and more sustainable material for batteries. Improper production and waste management has been shown to have a negative impact on our environment.”

The research team has applied for a patent through NTU’s business and innovation firm, NTUitive. They are also working to commercialize their inventions.

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