August 12, 2019, by Katie Andrews
Cigarette butt research attracts interest from Korea
Last week, a group of students from Korea visited the University’s School of Chemistry to investigate the recycling of cigarette butts.
The students had won an LG Global Challenger travel grant which funded the group’s trip around Europe, visiting three other institutions in addition to the University of Nottingham, to further understand the recycling processes.
The students discovered research by Robert Mokaya, Professor of Materials Chemistry, and Troy “Scott” Blankenship II, PhD student, when undertaking their own analysis of current practices for the recycling of cigarette butts to prepare for the LG competition.
After they had won, Hyung Jung, group lead, arranged to visit the School of Chemistry with the rest of his team members.
Prof Mokaya and Scott gave the group a tour of the school’s gas analysis suite and the synthetic lab. The students were shown demonstrations of analytical machinery used in the research and took part in preparing cigarette butts for hydrothermal carbonisation.
The group discussed the potential for a future hydrogen economy and the potential for collaboration/replication/extension of the research at a Korean institute.
Troy “Scott” Blankenship II said “We are excited to see interest in our research from as far away as Korea, and hope that this will lead to advancement in the field of hydrogen storage and activated carbons as well as greater awareness of the intractable cigarette butt waste problem”.
The students will report on their findings from the trip to Europe upon their return.