Carbon nanofibers (CNF) were grown by thermocatalytic decomposition of methane. Their texture and surface chemistry were modified by different oxidation treatments with HNO3 at different concentrations or a mixture of HNO3-H2SO4 to optimise their ability of dispersing active metal particles, because this material will be used as electrocatalytic support for polymeric electrolyte fuel cells. The effect of liquid phase oxidation on the surface chemistry and the textural properties of the CNF was studied by temperature programmed desorption (TPD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and N2-physisorption. Moreover, their thermal stability was studied by temperature programmed oxidation (TPO). During oxidation treatments functional groups were created and their number was function of the oxidation treatment conditions. Results indicated that an increase in severity of the oxidation treatment produces an increase in the number of surface oxygen groups and in the thermal stability. However, a very severe treatment can destroy partially the structure of carbon nanofibers.
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