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Coal turns into graphite using the household micro oven

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The University of Wyoming used copper foil, glass containers, and a household microwave to convert pulverized coal powder into higher value non-graphite which is used as a lubricant and in items ranging from fire extinguishers to lithium-ion batteries.

The powder was placed on copper foil then sealed inside glass containers mixed with gases of organ and hydrogen before placing into the microwave oven.

Then the copper coils were shaped like a fork to induce spark from microwave radiation in order to generate extremely high temperatures of more than 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. The sparks generated by high temperatures of microwaves transform the coal powder into polycrystalline graphite.

“Finite graphite reserves and environmental concerns for the graphite extraction procedures make this method of converting coal to graphite a great alternative source of graphite production,” the scientists wrote.

Reference/Journal DOI: 10.1016/j.nanoso.2020.100660
Source/Provided by University of Wyoming

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