From Bin to Bulb: turning waste plastic into electricity conductors

Free Exhibition Event: 12th October 2019 - March 2020

National Waterfront Museum Wales - For more information contact: Dr Alvin Orbaek White


Plastic waste is a big problem worldwide so how about using it to conduct electricity.

This project started at Swansea University looks at how to turn waste plastic into other usable materials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene and carbon fibre.

We are all trying to find more efficient ways in which to light and heat our homes. We may be able to reduce the amount of energy being lost during transmission by using special carbon wires made out of carbon nanotubes. These nanotubes are made from things like thin plastic film, black plastic food packaging and liquid solvents. All of which cannot be recycled in our household rubbish.

Using these nanotubes could save the UK eight percent of the total energy production, not to mention get rid of some of the plastic currently littering the land and oceans.

This video briefly demonstrates a facile method for making carbon nanotubes. In the video a brief demonstration of the conductive nature of the nanotubes is shown. The video is on display at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, Wales as part of our exhibit called: From Bin to Bulb.

From Bin To Bulb exhibit.jpg 

The display can be seen at the National Waterfront Museum showing the interactive user interface.