Upcycling of waste polyethylene terephthalate plastic bottles into porous carbon for CF4 adsorption

Xiangzhou Yuan, Moon Kyung Cho, Jong Gyu Lee, Seung Wan Choi, Ki Bong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Thermo-chemical processes for converting plastic wastes into useful materials are considered promising technologies to mitigate the environmental pollution caused by plastic wastes. In this study, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic wastes were used to develop cost-effective and value-added porous carbons; the developed porous carbons were subsequently tested for capturing CF4, a greenhouse gas with a high global-warming potential. The activation temperature was varied from 600 °C to 1000 °C and the mass ratio of KOH/carbon ranged from 1 to 3 in the preparation process and their effects on the textural properties and CF4-capture performance of the PET plastic waste-derived porous carbons were investigated. The CF4-adsorption uptake was dictated by the specific surface area and pore volume of narrow micropores less than 0.9 nm in diameter. PET-K(2)700, which was developed by KOH activation at 700 °C and KOH/carbon mass ratio of 2, showed the highest CF4-adsorption uptake of 2.43 mmol g−1 at 25 °C and 1 atm. Also, the CF4-adsorption data were fitted well with the Langmuir isotherm model and pseudo second-order kinetic model. The PET plastic waste-derived porous carbons exhibited a high CF4 uptake, good CF4/N2 selectivity at relatively low CF4 pressures, easy regeneration, rapid adsorption/desorption kinetics, and excellent recyclability, which are promising for practical CF4-capture applications. Waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles could be used as a carbon precursor to prepare novel microporous carbons for CF4 capture.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114868
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct


  • CF adsorption
  • KOH activation
  • PET plastic waste
  • Porous carbon
  • Upcycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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