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Extraction of Carbon Nanostructures from Sludge


Extraction of Nanostructural Carbon Materials from Wastes of Manufactory Aluminum by Electrolysis

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-SYN/Materials Synthesis and Processing/Materials
  • MAT-COM/Composites/Materials

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Water Problems, Hydro-Power Engineering and Ecology, Tajikistan, Dushanbe

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics, Russia, Moscow reg., Chernogolovka


  • National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) / Nanotechnology Research Institute, Japan, Tsukuba\nQueen's University / Center for Manufacturing of Advanced Ceramics and Nano Materials, Canada, ON, Kingston

Project summary

The major purpose of the project is research and finding of optimum solution for utilization of carbon waste from aluminum electrolysis production. One of perspective directions of waste utilization may become its using for extraction of carbon nanostructures (CNS - fullerenes, carbon nanotubes and nanofibres) which are suitable for creation of new perspective materials (various sorbents, selective catalysts, new polymer materials etc.).

Earlier high concentration of carbon nanostructures including fullerenes, carbon nanotubes and nanofibres has been found in the soot formed on a graphite electrode at electrolysis fused salts alkaline and alkaline-earth metals. In electrolyser the graphite core served as cathode and the anode was made of the graphite crucible inserted in a metal grid. In the soot formed at destruction of the cathode there were found high concentration of carbon nanostructures.

In electrolyzer of aluminum production the high temperatures and high current density conditions are realized as well. Preliminary researches have shown that the carbon waste formed in electrolyser of aluminum production contains various carbon nanostructures, the part of which can be dissolved in aromatic hydrocarbons but can not be dissolved in water and standard aliphatic solvents.

Now products of destruction of the electrodes do not represent the economic value and, moreover, are considered as ecological dangerous waste of aluminum production. At the same time it is supposed, that it is possible to extract carbon nanostructures from them suitable for creation of useful and economically acceptable products, in particular - highly effective sorbents, catalysts of selective action, new polymers.

The problem of increasing of electrolyses’ operation time remains very important for all aluminum producers. It is considered, that one of principal causes of their destruction is erosion of carbon electrodes during a high-temperature electrochemical cycle. We believe, that detailed studying of the structure of carbon electrodes of electrolyzer and the structure of carbon waste, formed on different stages of process electrolysis, will allow to find out principal causes of erosion and to develop recommendations on inhibition of processes of destruction of electrodes.

During the course of the project it is planned to identify waste structure and composition, to develop methods of extraction the valuable carbon phases from waste, to create scientific base of extraction, pision and clearing carbon nanostructures. It is supposed to develop methods of synthesis of materials with given properties on the basis of allocated nanostructures. It is also planned to create model of destruction electrodes and to make recommendations on inhibition of this process.

The humanitarian factor of this project consists in acquaintance of efforts of the scientists of two countries, earlier parts of USSR, which are working in the most capable scientific organizations. Not less important task of the given project is reorientation of their scientific activity to new aspects of the material science connected to chemistry, physics and technology of new types of carbon materials representing doubtless interest for all world community today. The purpose and tasks of the project fully comply with the purposes and tasks ISTC.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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