Upcycling is the process of turning low-value materials or even waste into something highly valuable. A group of American and Mexican chemists reported that they have found an inexpensive way to transform plastic bags, mainly polyethylene (PE or PET), into battery anodes.
Their approach uses a two-step heating process that allows effective reaction between sulfuric acid and PE polymer chain, resulting in a cross-linked free-standing carbon sheet architecture. The researchers then put their upcycled products, PE-derived carbon of two different densities, to the test as Li-ion battery anode. Their results showed that composite anodes were functional and capable of storing electric energy.
Their result was published in the journal ACS Omega.
Source: ACS via Youtube