Temperature and carbon source effects on methane-air flame synthesis of CNTs

T. X. Li, K. Kuwana, K. Saito, H. Zhang, Z. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


We have conducted experimental and numerical studies on flame synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to investigate the effects of three key parameters - selective catalyst, temperature and available carbon sources - on CNT growth. Two different substrates were used to synthesize CNTs: Ni-alloy wire substrates to obtain curved and entangled CNTs and Si-substrates with porous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) nanotemplates to grow well-aligned, self-assembled and size-controllable CNTs, each using two different types of laminar flames, co-flow and counter-flow methane-air diffusion flames. An appropriate temperature range in the synthesis region is essential for CNTs to grow on the substrates. Possible carbon sources for CNT growth were found to be the major species CO and those intermediate species C2H2, C 2H4, C2H6, and methyl radical CH3. The major species H2, CO2 and H 2O in the synthesis region are expected to activate the catalyst and help to promote catalyst reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1855-1861
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Volume32 II
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Event32nd International Symposium on Combustion - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Aug 3 2008Aug 8 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corp. (KSEF-148-502-04097), in part by the National Science Foundation (ECS 0304129), and in part by the Department of Energy (DE-FG02-00ER4582 and DE-FG26-04NT42171).


  • Carbon nanotubes (CNTs)
  • Carbon sources
  • Flame synthesis
  • Temperature effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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