During the coronavirus epidemic, individuals throughout the world began wearing face mask, which is equal to more than 130 billion masks every month, resulting in hundreds of tonnes of polymer trash. Because it releases hazardous gases when burned, recycling this trash is especially important.
Researchers at the National University of Science and Process (NUST “MISiS”), in collaboration with colleagues from the United States and Mexico, have invented a novel technology for making low-cost batteries from medical waste.
The new approach creates low-cost batteries from worn masks, with waste medicine blister packs serving as a casing. Thus, medical waste serves as the foundation for battery production; all that needs to be procured from outside is graphene.
Because of the low cost, the new technique permits the creation of thin, flexible, low-cost batteries that are also disposable. The new batteries may be utilized in a variety of household products ranging from clocks to lights.
The following algorithm is used to produce this supercapacitor battery: The masks are first cleansed using ultrasonic before being immersed in graphene ‘ink,’ which saturates the mask. The material is then compressed and heated to 140°C.
A separator with insulating qualities (also made of mask material) is then put between the two electrodes constructed of the new material. It is soaked with a specific electrolyte, and then a protective shell made of medical blister pack material is formed (such as paracetamol).
When scientists decided to add nanoparticles of inorganic perovskite of CaCo oxide type to the electrodes obtained from the masks, the energy capacity of the batteries further increased (208 watt-hours/kg).
In the future, the scientific team plans to apply the new technology for the production of batteries for electric cars, solar power stations and other applications.
Reference- National University of Science and Technology Research & Website, Science Direct, Popular Science, ANI News, PR Newswire