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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2007 Sep;7(9):3233-8.

Synthesis of carbon nanotubes by swirled floating catalyst chemical vapour deposition method.

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  • 1School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, P/Bag X3 Wits 2050 Johannesburg, South Africa.


A series of developments have been made in synthesizing Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) by Catalytic Vapour Deposition (CVD) methods since its discovery as a possible route to the large scale and high quality production of CNTs. In this study, CNTs were synthesized continuously in a swirled floating catalytic chemical vapour deposition reactor using acetylene as carbon source, ferrocene as catalyst, with argon and hydrogen as carrier gases within the temperature range of 900-1050 degrees C. The effects of pyrolysis temperature, acetylene flow rate, hydrogen flow rate, and ratio of flow of acetylene to hydrogen on the rate of production of CNTs were investigated. The CNTs produced were purified with dilute nitric acid and the nature and quality of the CNTs were analysed by TEM, Raman spectrometer, EDX, and TGA. Results obtained revealed that a mixture of single and multi wall carbon nanotubes were produced continuously with a maximum yield rate of 0.31 g/min at 1000 degrees C and a flow ratio of acetylene to hydrogen of one to five.

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