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Investigation of concentration profiles in carbon nanotube production reactor

Yalın, Mustafa
Carbon nanotubes have received considerable attention since their discovery due to their novel properties. They have potential application areas in physics, chemistry and biology. Arc discharge, laser furnace, chemical vapor deposition and floating catalyst methods are the most commonly used methods to produce carbon nanotubes. Although carbon nanotubes have superior properties compared to other materials, they could not be used widely. The main reasons of this are that continuous and large scale production of carbon nanotubes could not be achieved and impurities have to be removed. To solve these problems more information about formation of carbon nanotubes has to be known. In this study concentration profiles of reactant and byproducts in a cylindrical reactor are investigated during carbon nanotube production. A special probe to collect gas samples along the reactor and samples loops to store the gas samples were designed and constructed. Gas samples were analyzed one by one in GC/MS. Experiments were done with and without catalyst at same experimental conditions. Thus, effects of catalyst on concentration profiles of chemicals were analyzed. To produce carbon nanotubes more acetylene was used compared to amount of acetylene used in pyrolysis. Increasing reaction temperature from 800°C to 875°C caused decomposing more acetylene and producing more carbon nanotubes. It is believed that data accumulation on the reactions involved in the gas phase will lead to large scale production and lower product costs with a large catalyst surface to be produced in the reactor.