Researchers in Poland have managed to recycle old discs into two types of activated carbon. The resulting activated carbon has a high surface area and large volumes of fine pore. These characteristics allow the material to absorb carbon dioxide and other toxic compounds from the air.
CDs and DVDs are fast becoming a large problem in landfills. Recycling discs can be difficult due to the different materials present and at the moment there are few places consumers can dispose of their unwanted discs for recycling.
The solution of turning recycled DVD discs into activated carbon will not only remove the discs from landfill but also produce a valuable environmental resource. Activated carbon can be used in a wide variety of applications including water purification, chemical purification and even sound absorption.
Mietek Jaroniec and colleagues from Poland and the U.S. plan to use this technique to manufacture activated carbon for use primarily to absorb carbon dioxide emissions as well as adsorb hydrogen gas and benzene, a carcinogenic compound used in industrial processes.