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Nanocarbon Catalysts: Recent Understanding Regarding the Active Sites

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Lu-Hua Zhang
  • Yumeng Shi
  • Ye Wang
  • Shiju Raveendran
Article number1902126
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>4/03/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Advanced Science
Issue number5
Number of pages14
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date8/01/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Although carbon itself acts as a catalyst in various reactions, the classical carbon materials (e.g., activated carbons, carbon aerogels, carbon black, carbon fiber, etc.) usually show low activity, stability, and oxidation resistance. With the recent availability of nanocarbon catalysts, the application of carbon materials in catalysis has gained a renewed momentum. The research is concentrated on tailoring the surface chemistry of nanocarbon materials, since the pristine carbons in general are not active for heterogeneous catalysis. Surface functionalization, doping with heteroatoms, and creating defects are the most used strategies to make efficient catalysts. However, the nature of the catalytic active sites and their role in determining the activity and selectivity is still not well understood. Herein, the types of active sites reported for several mainstream nanocarbons, including carbon nanotubes, graphene‐based materials, and 3D porous nanocarbons, are summarized. Knowledge about the active sites will be beneficial for the design and synthesis of nanocarbon catalysts with improved activity, selectivity, and stability.