Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were grown by chemical vapor deposition by applying C2H2 fluxed over Fe1-xCox catalyst supported by alkaline earth carbonate. Detailed investigations of the chemical process occurring prior and during the growth allowed us a significant improvement of the nanotube production rate and quality. We observed a strong influence of the catalyst stoichiometry on the carbon deposition rate and the nanotube characteristics. We also found evidence for the active role of the support in the growth process, which is explained by the decomposition of the carbonate at the growth temperature. Using the optimized parameters obtained from our study performed in a fixed bed furnace, we could improve the production rate to about 500 g/day of purified MWCNTs in our large-scale rotary tube furnace.