American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Environmental Impact Assessment for Potential Continuous Processes for the Production of Carbon Nanotubes

Aditi Singh, Helen H. Lou, Ralph W. Pike, Adedeji Agboola, Xiang Li, Jack R. Hopper and Carl L. Yaws

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2008.522.534

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 4, Issue 5

Pages 522-534

Abstract

As an emerging discipline, nanotechnology has the potential to improve environmental sustainability through its application in pollution prevention, treatment, remediation, etc. One challenging issue in the growth of nanotechnology is how to produce purified carbon nanotubes (CNT) in commercial quantities at affordable price and with low environmental impacts. A detailed assessment of such a manufacturing process from both economic and environmental aspects at the design phase will benefit both the industry and the society. In this work, an LCA type of environmental impact assessment is conducted for the conceptual design of two catalytic, chemical vapor deposition processes (CNT-PFR and CNT-FBR) used for continuous large–scale production of CNT. The core of both processes is a high-temperature catalytic reactor. Mineral acids are used in the purification steps, from which liquid and solid wastes are generated and must be treated before discharge. Based on the simulation results, the environmental impacts of each process are calculated. The results provide vital information that can be used during the design phase of these processes for better decision-making.

Copyright

© 2008 Aditi Singh, Helen H. Lou, Ralph W. Pike, Adedeji Agboola, Xiang Li, Jack R. Hopper and Carl L. Yaws. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.