Scientists at the Nagoya Institute of Technology in Japan have recently discovered a new way to convert old fish waste into carbon-based nanomaterials.
Scientists discover high-quality carbon nano-onions
It is already known that carbon nano-onions are unlikely to grow in our gardens. But what exactly are these CNOs (abbreviation of carbon nano-onions)?
CNOs are a type of carbon-based nanomaterial. They are made up of shells of fullerene, closed carbon molecules that look quite similar to a spherical cage. The scales obtained from the fish waste are converted into CNOs in a matter of seconds using “microwave pyrolysis.” This is because gases are released during this procedure, which leads to the build-up of the CNOs.
An exceptionally fast conversion
However, the researchers do not yet know exactly why the whole thing is happening so quickly. They assume that the scales’ collagen promotes a rapid temperature rise. This then leads to pyrolysis all the more quickly.
For a visual explanation, the Nagoya Institute of Technology has provided an easy-to-understand video :
Cheaper and more environmentally friendly than ever before
Due to their chemical stability and low levels of toxicity, CNOs are particularly popular in areas such as electronics and energy conversion.
Although CNOs were discovered as early as the 1980s, they were never really used effectively. Their manufacture repeatedly caused problems: either everything took far too long or, for example, too much heat was required. With the new CNOs, the researchers succeeded in making LEDs. Their investigations showed that this can be used to optimize displays and lighting. This is ensured by the good optical properties of the material.
And even more advantages: Production with fish waste is not only cheaper but also more environmentally friendly. According to the research, the next generation could already be equipped with displays from the newly discovered CNOs.
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