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South African Journal of Chemistry

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The Synthesis of Carbon Nanomaterials using Chlorinated Hydrocarbons over a Fe-Co/CaCO3 Catalyst

Winny K. Maboya, Neil J. Coville, Sabelo D. Mhlanga

Abstract


The effect of chlorine on the morphology of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) prepared from a Fe-Co/CaCO3 catalyst was investigated using chlorobenzene (CB), dichlorobenzene (DCB), trichlorobenzene (TCB), dichloroethane (DCE), trichloroethane (TCE) and tetrachloroethane (TTCE) as chlorine sources using a catalytic chemical vapour deposition (CCVD) method. Toluene was used as a chlorine-free carbon source for comparison. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were successfully synthesized. The physicochemical properties of the CNTs were studied using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Raman spectroscopy, thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) techniques. The inner and outer diameters of the MWCNTs increased with an increase in the number of chlorine atoms contained in the reactant. Chlorine incorporation into the MWCNTs was observed by EDS analysis for all reactants. Formation of ‘bamboo-like’ structures for the MWCNTs generated from TCE and TTCE was also observed, facilitated by the presence of the high percentage of chlorine in these reactants. Numerous MWCNTs revealed the presence of small carbon nanostructures that grew on top of the dominant CNTs, suggesting an unexpected secondary carbon growth mechanism.

KEYWORDS Multi-walled carbon nanotubes, CVD, synthesis, chlorine, benzenes, ethanes.




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