Large-Volume Production of Monodisperse Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes
Department of Defense
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12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 230, Beaverton, OR, 97005
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AbstractA prototype high-volume continuous-flow carbon nanotube (CNT) synthesis process will be developed to implement a process that has demonstrated >95% yields of high-purity CNTs. The reactor’s multi-zone furnace and direct-injection catalyst delivery system will be placed under computer control, and the product stream will be delivered to a modified version of an existing flow-synthesis reactor. This system will be used to provide the capability to deagglomerate, purify, functionalize, stabilize, and characterize the CNTs. In-line product characterization and control monitoring will be integrated, including UV-VIS-NIR photoluminescence, Raman, pH, and time-resolved fluorescence. In-line centrifuging and size-exclusion chromatography will be used to sort the CNT product. The product will be analyzed using X-ray, electron-microscope, and thermal gravitational methods. The flexibility and control of the continuous-flow system will allow statistically significant measure of the process quality — allowing for efficient scaling. Life-cycle cost, including capital requirements, for a multi-ton/day factory will be performed alongside an environmental impact analysis. The results of the Phase I program will result in a complete end-to-end demonstration of the prototype system. These results will be used in Phase II to optimize the CNT manufacturing, and scale to moderate-volume production.
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