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Influence of a Fe/activated carbon catalyst and reaction parameters on methane decomposition during the synthesis of carbon nanotubes

Vaiyazhipalayam Murugaiyan Sivakumar, Abdul Rahman Mohamed, Ahmad Zuhairi Abdullah, and Siang-Piao Chai

School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia



Abstract: In our experimental work on carbon nanotubes synthesis, the influence of pre-treatment and reaction temperature conditions over Fe catalyst loaded on low-cost activated carbon (AC) in the catalytic chemical vapor deposition of methane was studied. Catalyst with the metal concentration of 5 mass % calcined at 350°C and reduced at 450°C was effective in CH4 decomposition giving 98 % conversions. TEM images showed that thin multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) with the average internal diameter of ∼ 8 nm and the wall thickness of ∼ 2.5 nm were obtained over unreduced Fe/AC catalyst at the reaction temperature of 850°C. On the other hand, broader filamentous nanostructures with the diameter of ∼ 22 nm and the wall thickness of ∼ 3.72 nm were observed over reduced catalyst.

Keywords: activated carbon - MWNTs - methane vapor decomposition - TEM - thermogravimetric analysis

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-010-0066-y


Chemical Papers 64 (6) 799–805 (2010)

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