A general approach towards carbonization of plastic waste into a well-designed 3D porous carbon framework for super lithium-ion batteries†
Due to the ever-increasing plastic waste causing serious environmental problems, it is highly desirable to recycle it into high-value-added products, such as carbon nanomaterials. However, the traditional catalytic carbonization of hydrocarbon polymers is severely prohibited by the complexity of real-world plastic waste due to the existence of halogen-containing polymers. In this study, through a universal combined template based on magnesium oxide and iron(III) acetylacetonate (Fe(acac)3), a three-dimensional hollow carbon sphere/porous carbon flake hybrid nanostructure is prepared from carbonization of plastic waste with high yields (>70 wt%). This approach is not only suitable for hydrocarbon polymers, but also for halogen-containing polymers. Interestingly, the obtained advanced carbon framework exhibits excellent performance in lithium-ion batteries (802 mA h g−1 after 500 cycles at 0.5 A g−1). The present research paves a new avenue to upcycle plastic waste into a high value-added product.