MAR 01, 2018 6:59 AM PST

Green, Multifunctional Rubber-from Rubbish

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

Compost of your yard waste or rotten leftovers not just make good soils additives and fertilizer, but it can also be turned into something you can never imagine.

A recent report in the journal ACS Omega described how chemical researchers from France and Brazil used the gases generated from compost to modify the properties of natural rubber. 

Rubber is a naturally existing polymer of the compound isoprene. It is used extensively. It can be found in anything from consumer products like shoes, gloves, mats to industrial applications such as tires, pipes, and belting.

Using a process called cracking, scientists first produced graphitic nanocarbon using methane gas from composting as starting materials. Then the nanocarbon was combined with natural rubber extracted from the Hevea brasiliensis tree to produce a type of multifunctional rubber composites.

Compared to the non-modified version, the rubber composites are more thermally stable, mechanically durable, as well as electroconductive. What's more, they show a good piezoelectric behavior. Researchers suggested the unique property could be used to monitor mechanical deformation.

Source: ACS via Youtube

Image credit: Phillip Cohen/Wiki Common

About the Author
Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
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