New UMaine CBE Article Alert in Advanced Materials

Prof. Evan K. Wujcik has recently published a collaborative article in Advanced Materials entitled “Life Cycle Assessment of Ti3C2Tx MXene Synthesis.

Read the open access article here:

Abstract: MXenes, two-dimensional transition metal carbides, nitrides, and carbonitrides, have been investigated for diverse applications since their discovery, however, their life cycle analysis (LCA) has not been studied. Here, we perform a “cradle to gate” LCA to assess the cumulative energy demand (CED) and environmental impacts of lab-scale synthesis of Ti3C2Tx, the most researched MXene composition. We selected electromagnetic interface (EMI) shielding as it is one of MXenes’ most promising applications and compared Ti3C2Tx synthesis LCA to aluminum and copper foils, two typical EMI shielding materials. Two laboratory-scale MXene synthesis systems—gram and kilogram batches—were examined. We investigated the CED and environmental implications of Ti3C2Tx based on its precursor production, selective etching, delamination processes, laboratory location, energy mix, and raw material type. Our results show that laboratory electricity usage for the synthesis processes accounts for > 70% of the environmental impacts. Manufacturing 1.0 kg of industrials-scale aluminum and copper foil releases 23.0 kg and 8.75 kg of CO2, respectively, while 1.0 kg of lab-scale MXene synthesis released 428.10 kg. Chemical usage is less impactful than electricity, which suggests recycled resources and renewable energy can make more sustainable MXene synthesis. Understanding MXene LCA will help with the industrial-scale manufacture of this 2D material.