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The kinetics of carbon nanotube (CNT) synthesis by decomposition of CH4 over Mo/Co/MgO and Co/MgO catalysts was studied to clarify the role of catalyst component. In the absence of the Mo component, Co/MgO catalysts are active in the synthesis of thick CNT (outer diameter of 7–27 nm) at lower reaction temperatures, 823–923 K, but no CNTs of thin outer diameter are produced. Co/MgO catalysts are significantly deactivated by carbon deposition at temperatures above 923 K. For Mo-including catalysts (Mo/Co/MgO), thin CNT (2–5 walls) formation starts at above 1000 K without deactivation. The significant effects of the addition of Mo are ascribed to the reduction in catalytic activity for dissociation of CH4, as well as to the formation of Mo2C during CNT synthesis at high temperatures. On both Co/MgO and Mo/Co/MgO catalysts, the rate of CNT synthesis is proportional to the CH4 pressure, indicating that the dissociation of CH4 is the rate-determining step for a catalyst working without deactivation. The deactivation of catalysts by carbon deposition takes place kinetically when the formation rate of the graphene network is smaller than the carbon deposition rate by decomposition of CH4.


  • Carbon

    Carbon 44(11), 2265-2272, 2006-09

    Elsevier Ltd.

Cited by:  1


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