Preparation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes and its application as flame retardant for polypropylene

Preparation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes and its application as flame retardant for polypropylene

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NiO catalyst supported on Fe-pillared montmorillonite (5–15 wt% Ni) was prepared via a simple conventional impregnation method. The physicochemical properties of the Ni catalyst were characterised by X-ray diffraction, inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry and transmission electron microscopy. The Ni catalyst, together with organic montmorillonite (OMMT), was employed to prepare multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) by using polypropylene (PP) as a precursor. An increase in Ni loading of the catalyst led to a significant increase in the yield of MWCNTs at the expense of a slight decline in quality of the obtained MWCNTs. Moreover, OMMT altered the degradation process of PP, which resulted in a much higher fraction of light hydrocarbons in degradation products. As such, a substantial increase in the yield of MWCNTs was attained. In addition, the obtained MWCNTs were used as flame retardant for PP, and significantly enhanced thermal stability and flame retardancy according to thermogravimetry analysis and cone data, respectively. PP/MWCNTs nanocomposite exhibited higher degradation temperature, longer ignition time, much lower heat release rate and smoke production rate. This work offers an efficient Ni catalyst to convert PP into MWCNTs which could be applied as flame retardant for polymers.


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