A single step process for degrading plastic waste by converting the plastic waste into carbonaceous products via thermal decomposition of the plastic waste by placing the plastic waste into a reactor, heating the plastic waste under an inert or air atmosphere until the temperature of about 700.degree. C. is achieved, allowing the reactor to cool down, and recovering the resulting decomposition products therefrom. The decomposition products that this process yields are carbonaceous materials, and more specifically carbon nanotubes having a partially filled core (encapsulated) adjacent to one end of the nanotube. Additionally, in the presence of a transition metal compound, this thermal decomposition process produces multi-walled carbon nanotubes.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF INVENTION
The U.S. Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the UChicago Argonne, LLC, representing Argonne National Laboratory.