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The inventions describe novel processes that utilize the nanoscale arrangement of plant cell wall components to produce carbon nanotubes via controlled cyclic heating or flash-heating processes in an oxygen-limited atmosphere. Both single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT’s) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNT’s) can be produced from cellulosic plant fibers. These methods allow for lower process temperatures than those of traditional methods. The lower energy costs combined with the inexpensive starting material provide greater potential for scalability, which is especially important for applications that require bulk quantities of nanotubes, such as composite materials.


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