A new technology that turns trash into graphene, one of the most valuable and useful materials around, offers the possibility of making concrete more environmentally-friendly. Rice University chemist James Tour and his team have developed a rapid process, flash joule heating, that can transform bulk quantities of trash into flakes of graphene simply, cheaply and without hazardous additives. The world throws out 30% to 40% of all food, because it goes bad, and plastic waste is of worldwide concern. We've already proven that any solid carbon-based matter, including mixed plastic waste and rubber tires, can be turned into graphene." Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane emitted by waste foods in landfills could be converted into graphene and added to concrete, making concrete manufacture cheaper and more environmentally friendly and meaning less concrete is needed for buildings, Tour says. "It's a win-win environmental scenario using graphene.

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