Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) were synthesized on Al2O3 supported Ni catalysts from C2H2 and C2H4 feedstocks in a fluidized bed. The influence of the ratio of superficial gas velocity to the minimum fluidization velocity (U/Umf), feedstock type, the ratio of carbon in the total quantity of gas fed to the reactor, reaction temperature, the ratio of hydrogen to carbon in the feed gas, and nickel loading were all investigated. Significantly, the pressure drop across the fluidized-bed increased as the reaction time increased for all experiments, due to the deposition of MWNTs on the catalyst particles. This resulted in substantial changes to the depth and structure of the fluidized bed as the reaction proceeded, significantly altering the bed hydrodynamics. TEM images of the bed materials showed that MWNTs, metal catalysts, and alumina supports were predominant in the product mixture, with some coiled carbon nanotubes as a by-product. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2009
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