A hybrid method for mass production of Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes (SWCN)

C. Marin
University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, US

Keywords: SWCN, nanotubes, carbon nanotubes, single wall carbon nanotubes

Summary:

Since their discovery more than 20 years ago Carbon Nanotubes based solutions have been proposed for a variety of technological needs. Production of Multi Wall Carbon Nanotubes (MWCN) is already viable at costs of ~$100 per kilogram of raw produced material (>60wt%) and world production is ~1200 tons/year. However, technology for economically viable mass production of Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes (SWCN) does not exist yet. Current cost of ~10,000 per kilogram of raw produced material (>60wt%) prohibits even real scale research to verify at large scale predictions of superior performance of SWCN compared to MWCN for certain applications, like electromagnetic shielding or production of reinforced polymers. Here, we are presenting preliminary results proving production of SWCNs with a prototype apparatus using a hybrid technology which operates in nearly steady-state conditions. Its production output is not limited by heat transfer rates or maintenance of conditions for flame sustainability. Therefore, the technology migth be scalable to large-scale, cost-efficient fabrication of SWCNs.