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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014, Article ID 631069, 6 pages
Research Article

Characterization of Carbon Nanofibers Treated with Thermal Nitrogen as a Catalyst Support Using Point-of-Zero Charge Analysis

1Chemical Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, 31750 Tronoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia
2Fundamental and Applied Science Department, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, 31750 Tronoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia

Received 5 July 2014; Accepted 27 August 2014; Published 14 September 2014

Academic Editor: Yongchun Hong

Copyright © 2014 Thien Duc Nguyen Van et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The chemical and physical purification of carbon nanofiber exposes more anchoring sites between meal precursors and carbon surface but thermal N2 gas flow maintains the crystal’s structure as well as its defect and edge sites, referred to as active sites or anchoring sites. After calcination in nitrogen at 450°C, samples were characterized by Raman spectra X-ray diffraction, as well as thermogravimetric and nitrogen physisorption analyses. Results showed a relatively lower fraction of amorphous carbon to graphite, indicating a greater removal of amorphous carbon. Moreover, the disorder intensity of carbon nanofibers that were treated in N2 flow rate of 1 L/min and 3 hours, called 1Gcom-3h sample, achieved far more defect sites compared with unmodified carbon nanofiber. In addition, the surface areas of mesoporous carbon nanofibers decreased over prolonged residence time. The carbon nanofiber support-metal cation interaction therefore improved the deposition of iron when the point-of-zero charge reading was greater than four.