The impact on global waste
“As chemical engineers, we design solutions to optimize structure and performance of components,” explains Liu. “Discovering sustainable, organic sources for batteries that can provide stability and increased energy density can change the way we think about waste.”
Non-recyclable plastic waste has also been shown to store electric energy after functionalization with nitro groups. For example, polystyrene waste can be turned into nitrated polystyrene, which then becomes electrochemically active.
“We want to lower the global waste output by using it to build a sustainable energy source that addresses a growing need,” says Liu.