12-Jan-2021 | Market Research Store

Researchers from University of Wyoming used glass containers, copper foil, and a traditional household microwave oven that crushed coal powder could be transformed into higher-value nano-graphite. This new study is a step toward finding an alternative use for Powder River Basin coalin Wyoming as currently the demand of coal for electricity generation is found to be declining owing to the climate change.The researchers gave a clear explanation of how they created a microwave ovenconditionto developnano-graphite from raw coal powder which could be further used in fire extinguishers, lithium batteries, and even as lubricantsin the journal Nano-Structures & Nano-Objects,. The latest single-step method using metal-assisted microwave treatment is new means of cost-effective coal-conversion method.

The new method helps convert abundant carbon sources into valuable materials that will prove ecologically and economically beneficial. Earlier research has shown the microwaves to be used for reducing the moisture content of coal and also to remove sulfur and other minerals, which generally are removed by carrying out specific chemical pretreatment of the coal.

In the current study, the researchers justcrushed raw Powder River Basin coal into refined powder.This coal was then kept on a copper foil which was later sealed in a glass container infused with hydrogenand argon before being placed in the microwave oven.The traditional microwave oven is preferred as it provides the level of radiation required and is more convenient.Using copper foil just like a fork helped generate spark using the microwave radiation that raised the temperature above 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit within seconds.This temperature generation helped form polycrystalline graphite from coal powder. This new method is a refined way of developing higher quality and quantity of nano-graphite materials.

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