Disclosed are structures formed as bulk support media having carbon nanotubes formed therewith. The bulk support media may comprise fibers or particles and the fibers or particles may be formed from such materials as quartz, carbon, or activated carbon. Metal catalyst species are formed adjacent the surfaces of the bulk support material, and carbon nanotubes are grown adjacent the surfaces of the metal catalyst species. Methods employ metal salt solutions that may comprise iron salts such as iron chloride, aluminum salts such as aluminum chloride, or nickel salts such as nickel chloride. Carbon nanotubes may be separated from the carbon-based bulk support media and the metal catalyst species by using concentrated acids to oxidize the carbon-based bulk support media and the metal catalyst species.