A carbon nanotube is so named because it is simply a microscopic hollow tube made from a single-atom layer of carbon. Researchers first created carbon nanotubes using ethanol as the starting material, and this is still one of the most common approaches. However, this process is slow and still relatively expensive. To make carbon nanotubes you really just need a source of carbon, and there’s plenty of it out there — especially in disposable plastics.
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