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Modeling of the HiPco Process for Carbon Nanotube Production. II. Reactor-Scale Analysis

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The high-pressure carbon monoxide (HiPco) process, developed at Rice University, has been reported to produce single-walled carbon nanotubes from gas-phase reactions of iron carbonyl in carbon monoxide at high pressures (10–100 atm). Computational modeling is used here to develop an understanding of the HiPco process. A detailed kinetic model of the HiPco process that includes of the precursor, decomposition metal cluster formation and growth, and carbon nanotube growth was developed in the previous article (Part I). Decomposition of precursor molecules is necessary to initiate metal cluster formation. The metal clusters serve as catalysts for carbon nanotube growth. The diameter of metal clusters and number of atoms in these clusters are some of the essential information for predicting carbon nanotube formation and growth, which is then modeled by the Boudouard reaction with metal catalysts. Based on the detailed model simulations, a reduced kinetic model was also developed in Part I for use in reactor-scale flowfield calculations. Here this reduced kinetic model is integrated with a two-dimensional axisymmetric reactor flow model to predict reactor performance. Carbon nanotube growth is examined with respect to several process variables (peripheral jet temperature, reactor pressure, and Fe(CO)5 concentration) with the use of the axisymmetric model, and the computed results are compared with existing experimental data. The model yields most of the qualitative trends observed in the experiments and helps to understanding the fundamental processes in HiPco carbon nanotube production.

Keywords: Carbon Nanotube Growth; Flowfield And Chemistry.; HiPco Process; Reactor Modeling

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Eloret Corporation, NASA Ames Research Center, MS 230-3, Moffett Field, California 94035, USA 2: NASA Ames Research Center, MS 229-3, Moffett Field, California 94035, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2002

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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