Researchers turn fish scales into high-quality carbon nanomaterial

A team of scientists have used microwave pyrolysis to convert fish scales into carbon nano-onions (CNOs), a material with broad applications across the electronics, biomedicine and energy conversion industries. A team of scientists from in Japan found a simple and convenient way to turn fish waste into extremely high-quality CNOs. CNOs are a type of carbon-based nanomaterial that are widely used in the catalysis, energy conversion and storage, biomedicine and electronics sectors thanks to their low toxicity and chemical stability. After they were first identified in 1980, researchers noted that the nanostructures were composed of concentric shells of fullerenes, resembling cages within cages. This gives CNOs a high surface area and large electrical and thermal conductivities – making them highly useful across multiple industries.