Research Papers

Modeling of a Solar Reactor for Single-Wall Nanotube Synthesis

[+] Author and Article Information
G. Flamant1

 Laboratoire Procédés Matériaux et Energie Solaire, Promes-CNRS, B.P.5, 66125 Font-Romeu Cedex, Franceflamant@promes.cnrs.fr

M. Bijeire, D. Luxembourg

 Laboratoire Procédés Matériaux et Energie Solaire, Promes-CNRS, B.P.5, 66125 Font-Romeu Cedex, France

Graphite rod and tube: SGL Carbon Group, 38407 St Martin d’Heres, France; Carbon felt: Carbone Lorraine, 92231 Gennevilliers, France.


Corresponding author

J. Sol. Energy Eng 128(1), 24-29 (May 09, 2005) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1949623 History: Received April 14, 2004; Revised May 09, 2005

Experimental results with a 50kW solar reactor producing 1015gh single-wall carbon nanotube’s rich soot have shown that good quality product was obtained with helium and rather bad product with argon. This result is explained using a computational fluid dynamics model of the reactor accounting for fluid flow, heat transfer, and mass transfer. The bad results in argon were linked to the quenching of carbon vapor in the vaporization zone that resulted in the growth of carbon nanoparticles in spite of carbon-metal clusters (single-wall carbon nanotube precursor). By contrast, the vaporized materials (C, Ni, and Co species) at the target surface were well mixed in helium, and single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) might grow in the annealing and cooling zone at the backside of the reactor. The same numerical approach may be used to design modifications of the reactor in order to favor the growth of SWNTs.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Scheme of the experimental setup. L is the target length (L=15cm).

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Figure 2

SEM images of SWNT bundles obtained with helium and argon: (a) He, (b) Ar

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Figure 3

Streamlines inside the solar reactor (stream function, kg/s): (a) He, (b) Ar

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Figure 4

Temperature distribution in the vaporization zone (temperature, K): (a) isotherms, He, (b) isotherms, Ar, (c) axial temperature profile (He and Ar); ▴: He, ▵: Ar

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Figure 5

Temperature profile in the annealing zone: x=15cm corresponds to the back side of the target ●: He 엯: Ar

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Figure 6

Relative mole fraction of carbon along the axis of symmetry in the vaporization zone

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Figure 7

Relative mole fraction distribution along the annular zone between the target and the tube: x=0 corresponds to the front side of the target.




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