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Placidus B. Amama, Sangyun Lim, Dragos Ciuparu, Yanhui Yang, Lisa Pfefferle, Gary L. Haller. Synthesis, Characterization, and Stability of Fe-MCM-41 for Production of Carbon Nanotubes by Acetylene Pyrolysis. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 109(7), pp. 2645 -2656, 2005.

Abstract: Fe-substituted MCM-41 molecular sieves with ca. 1, 2, and 3 wt % Fe were synthesized hydrothermally using different sources of colloidal silica (HiSil and Cab-O-Sil) and characterized by ICP, XRD, N2 physisorption, UV-vis, EPR, TPR, and X-ray absorption. Catalysts synthesized from Cab-O-Sil showed higher structural order and stability than those from HiSil. The local environment of Fe in the mesoporous material as studied by UV-vis reveals the dominance of framework Fe in all the as-synthesized Fe-MCM-41 samples. Dislodgement of some Fe species to extraframework location occurs upon calcination, and this effect is more severe for Fe-MCM-41 (2 wt %) and Fe-MCM-41 (3 wt %), as confirmed by EPR and X-ray absorption. These materials have been used as catalytic templates for the production of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by acetylene pyrolysis at atmospheric pressure. A relationship between the Fe loading in MCM-41 and the carbon species produced during this reaction has been established. Using our optimized conditions for this system, Fe-MCM-41 with ca. 2 wt % Fe showed the best results with particularly high selectivity for single-wall carbon nanotube (SWNT) production. This catalyst was selective for carbon nanotubes with a low amount of amorphous carbon for a narrow range of temperatures from 1073 to 1123 K. To account for the different selectivity of these catalysts for CNTs production, the local environment and chemical state of Fe in the used catalyst was further probed by X-band EPR.

Keywords: Fe-MCM-41, acetylene, carbon nanotubes


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