Carbon nanotubes (NTs) in excess of 200 μm long are grown by catalytic pyrolysis of hydrocarbon vapors. The nanotubes grow continuously without the typical extinction due to catalyst encapsulation. A woven metal mesh supports the nanotubes creating a metal supported nanotube (MSNT) structure. The 140 μm wide mesh openings are completely filled by 70 nm diameter multiwalled nanotubes (MWNTs). The MWNTs are straight, uniform and highly crystalline. Their wall thickness is about 10 nm (30 graphite layers). The adherent NTs are not removed from the support in a Scotch tape pull test. A 12.5 cm2 capacitor made from two MSNT structures immersed in 1 M KCl has a capacitance of 0.35 F and an equivalent series resistance of 0.18 Ω. Water flows through the MSNT at a flow velocity of 1 cm/min with a pressure drop of 15 inches of water. With the support removed, the MWNTs naturally form a carbon nanocomposite (CNC) paper with a specific area of 80 m2/gm, a bulk density of 0.21 g/cm3, an open pore fraction of 0.81, and a resistivity of 0.16 Ω-cm.
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