Acidic etching and Pt particle decoration were applied to modify the hydrogen absorption behavior of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Two different acidic solutions, namely H2SO4/HNO3 and FeSO 4/H2SO4/H2O2, were used for etching treatment. A novel electroless deposition process, incorporating supercritical CO2 (sc-CO2) fluid, was used to decorate finely-dispersed nano-sized Pt particles on CNTs. The hydrogen storage capacities of various modified CNTs were measured by using a high pressure thermal gravimetric microbalance (HPTGA). The experimental results showed that acidic etching could increase the surface defect density and lead to open-up of the caps of CNTs, resulting in an increase in the active adsorption site for physical sorption of H2. The electroless deposition of nano-Pt particles on CNTs, using conventional electrolyte, could promote chemical sorption of hydrogen via spillover mechanism. By employing sc-CO2 bath, the Pt particle size became much finer and more uniformly distributed on the surfaces of CNTs, giving rise to a high hydrogen storage capacity. When a hybrid process including sc-CO2 Pt decoration following acidic etching was applied to modify CNTs, a substantial enhancement of hydrogen storage capacity (about 2.7 wt%) was observed.
- Acidic etching
- Carbon nanotube
- High pressure thermal gravimetric microbalance
- Pt particle decoration
- Supercritical CO fluid