Use Cigarette Butts to Power Electronic Devices

cigarette butts

Target: Gil-Pyo Kim and all researchers at the Environmental Material & Process Lab at Seoul National University

Goal: Use discarded cigarette butts to power consumer electronics and electric vehicles

There are more than a billion cigarette smokers around the world and far too many of their cigarette butts end up on the ground, in animals’ stomachs, and in drinking water. A group of researchers in South Korea discovered that they could turn cigarette filters, the main component of cigarette butts, into a material that is used to store energy in super-capacitors. These components can be used with batteries in the electrical grid to power consumer electronic devices and electric vehicles.

Led by Gil-Pyo Kim, the researchers published their findings in the journal, Nanotechnology, and described how this is a one-step process. They say the butt-based material outperforms substances currently being used in super-capacitors, including carbon, graphene, and carbon nanotubes.

“There is already numerous research [showing] that carbon material can be synthesized by pyrolysis of plastic material,” wrote Minzae Lee, one of the researchers. “So we expected that the transformation of cigarette butts into an energy storage material might be a solution to two human-challenging issues, environmental and energy problems.”

Sign the below petition to urge to encourage the Seoul National University researchers to swiftly complete the testing phase of using cigarette butts as super-capacitors to ramp up production. If there is anything productive to be done with discarded cigarette butts that are polluting the environment, then now is the time to take action.


Dear Gil-Pyo Kim and fellow Seoul National University researchers,

Your recently published research about turning cigarette butt waste into energy sources for consumer electronics is very promising. Billions of people around the world smoke cigarettes, and far too many of their cigarette butts end up in the soil, the waterways, and are ingested by animals.

Although this research is still in the testing phase, you must move swiftly to devise a solution to this mounting environmental problem. Super-capacitors are used in electronics applications that require fast charging and discharging, so cigarette butt waste around the world could soon be put to good use.

I am urging you to work together with other scientific teams and legal experts to drive this research into practical application. Cigarette butts could be the answer to powering electric vehicles and personal electronic devices which have become so heavily relied upon in modern society.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Sebastian via Flickr

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