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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2016, Article ID 1538602, 10 pages
Research Article

Synthesis and Characterization of Carbon Nanofibers Grown on Powdered Activated Carbon

1Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, 63000 Cyberjaya, Malaysia
2Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Research Group (NANORG), Faculty of Engineering, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Jalan Gombak, 53100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, 1 Jan Smuts Avenue, Braamfontein 2000, Johannesburg, South Africa
4Nanotechnology and Catalysts Research Center (NANOCAT), Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 7 June 2016; Accepted 30 October 2016

Academic Editor: Enkeleda Dervishi

Copyright © 2016 Yehya M. Ahmed 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.


Carbon nanofibers (CNFs) were synthesized through nickel ion (Ni2+) impregnation of powdered activated carbon (PAC). Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) using acetylene gas, in the presence of hydrogen gas, was employed for the synthesis process. Various percentages (1, 3, 5, and 7 wt. %) of Ni2+ catalysts were used in the impregnation of Ni2+ into PAC. Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM), Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy, Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analyzer (EDX), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA), zeta potential, and Brunauer, Emmett, and Teller (BET) were utilized for the characterization of the novel composite, which possessed micro and nanodimensions. FESEM and TEM images revealed that the carbonaceous structure of the nanomaterials was fibrous instead of tubular with average width varying from 100 to 200 nanometers. The PAC surface area increased from 101 m2/g to 837 m2/g after the growth of CNF. TGA combustion temperature range was within 400°C and 570°C, while the average zeta potential of the nanocomposite materials was −24.9 mV, indicating its moderate dispersive nature in water.