Deakin University

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From plastic waste to new materials for energy storage

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-20, 04:17 authored by I Olazabal, Nicolas Goujon, D Mantione, M Alvarez-Tirado, C Jehanno, D Mecerreyes, H Sardon
The use of plastic waste to develop high added value materials, also known as upcycling, is a useful strategy towards the development of more sustainable materials. More specifically, the use of plastic waste as a feedstock for synthesising new materials for energy storage devices not only provides a route to upgrading plastic waste but also can help in the search for sustainable materials. This perspective describes recent strategies for the use of plastic waste as a sustainable, cheap and abundant feedstock in the production of new materials for electrochemical energy storage devices such as lithium batteries, sodium batteries and supercapacitors. Two main strategies are described, the development of conducting carbons by combustion of plastic waste and the depolymerisation of plastics into new chemicals and materials. In both cases, catalysis has been key to ensuring high efficiency and performance. Future opportunities and challenges are highlighted and hypotheses are made on how the use of plastic waste could enhance the circularity of current energy storage devices.