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New Progress in Studies of Carbon Nanotube Catalysis
  English.dicp.cas.cn    Posted:2008-07-22

  New progress has been attained by the DICP research team led by Prof. BAO Xinhe on the binding effect of catalysts as well as on the modulation of catalytic reactivities exerted by carbon nanotubes. When metallic iron particles were assembled inside the cavities of the carbon nanotubes via the incipient wetness method, their catalytic activities for the conversion of syn-gas to liquid fuels(the GTL process) were remarkably enhanced. Compared with catalysts in which the iron particles were supported on the outer walls of the carbon nanotubes, the newly developed catalyst could give a higher hydrocarbon yield (C5+) under identical conditions. Their results have been published in the Journal of American Chemical Society recently (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130(2008)9414).

  The newly developed catalyst was characterized by means of the in-situ XPS technique, and the results compared with those of the catalyst having iron particles dispersed on the outer walls of the carbon nanotubes. It was shown that the reducibility of the iron particles residing inside the cavities of the carbon nanotubes was greatly enhanced, such that the iron particles were more easily to form iron carbide species with higher catalytic activities under reaction conditions, which in turn improved the catalytic activity of the catalyst. These results once again confirmed the existence of a "synergistic binding effect" in a carbon nanotube - metallic nano-particles system, and the modulation of the reactivity of the catalytic reaction by this effect.

  The Journal of Chemical & Engineering News has pay close attention to this new progress, and in its newest issue, these results of the DICP researchers were abstracted under the title of "Catalyst In A Bottle Works Better" in its "Latest News" column.

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