In the world of composting, trash is treasure as the food waste is recycle into fertilizers which can be used for gardens. A group of researchers have decided to investigate if compost can go beyond fertilizer. The group reported that the gases collected which are produced during the process of composting can be combined with rubber in order to make optimized electronic sensors and ceilings. Natural rubber is used for everyday items such as rain boots and tyres. However, natural rubber is not pure by the time it is used and therefore manufacturers make use of fillers such as carbon black for enhancing the properties of rubber.
The extensive use of carbon black leads to a negative impact on the properties of rubber and also affects its colour. Therefore, many scientists have been looking for an alternative to replace carbon black, from many years. Options that has been explored is the use of graphitic nano carbons as fillers. Nano carbon fillers are not only cost efficient but also consistent in size.
The team of researchers made use of graphitic nano carbons which are derived from methane by decomposition of food or compost. This makes it rather inexpensive, not to mention sustainable. Moreover, nano carbons are small and are ideal for fillers on account of their consistent size. When nano carbons are combined with natural rubber to form a composite, it was found that the material can also be used as a sealant for electrical devices. Conductivity was gained by the composite only when loaded with 10 wt percent of the nano carbons, thereby emerging as an attractive application in the development of sensors.