Wong Syie Luing
Project title: Development of energy-efficient graphene synthesis from plastic waste
Host Institution: Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)
Host Supervisor: Prof. Evgeny Rebrov
Co-host Institution: Technical University of Munich
Co-host Supervisor: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Olaf Hinrichsen
Summary project: The rapid surge of the global graphene market signifies the need of a more environmental-friendly graphene synthesis process. The climate impacts associated with graphene production can be reduced by replacing fossil feedstock with plastic waste. Adoption of induction heating reduces the climate impacts further by increasing the energy efficiency, while pushing the reaction to its kinetic limits. Although the feasibility of a greener graphene synthesis from plastic waste has been demonstrated, the potential of applying induction heating in such process has not been explored. This project aims to develop a greener graphene synthesis process from plastic waste powered by induction heating. Firstly, plastic pyrolysis via induction heating will be tuned to maximize the yield of C1-C3 hydrocarbons. Subsequently, graphene synthesis from the products of plastic pyrolysis will be performed in a combined process, in which two temperature zones will be created using induction heating. The effects of the important reaction parameters on the fluid dynamics and graphene growth kinetics will be investigated, and a computational fluid dynamic model will be developed to optimize design of a tandem reactor, together with the graphene synthesis conditions The potential applications of the graphene synthesized from plastic waste at optimized conditions for energy storage, environmental remediation and carbon capture will be determined. This proposal focuses on fundamental research, attempting to supply deep insights into this promising technology for graphene synthesis and plastic upcycling. The project will contribute to the climate mitigation and a global transition to circular economy.