Comprehensive and sustainable recycling of polymer nanocomposites

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A coupled process to recycle the polystyrene (PS) polymer nanocomposites (PNCs) is introduced to synthesize ferromagnetic core@shell Ni@C nanoparticles (NPs) and simultaneously to produce useful chemical radicals or liquid fuels. The PNCs reinforced with core@shell Ni@NiO NPs are prepared by the solvent extraction method. The Ni@NiO NPs are found to have significant catalytic effects on the pyrolysis of PS. The pyrolysis pathway changes from radical generation and β-scission for PS to radical generation, recombination and hydrogenation for the PNCs. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) results confirm the same gas products from pure PS and its Ni@NiO PNCs. However, for the liquid products, more saturated products were obtained from the PNCs than those from pure PS due to the catalytic hydrogenation of the Ni NPs. A significantly large magnetization (25.0 emu g-1), anti-corrosion and high specific surface area (236.68 m2 g-1) were observed in the formed core-shell NPs. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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Journal of Materials Chemistry

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