Special Issue "Smart Carbon Materials in Catalysis"

A special issue of C (ISSN 2311-5629).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Craig E. Banks

Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University, John Dalton Building, Chester St., Manchester, M1 5GD, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: graphene electrochemistry; intelligent electrochemical sensing; electrochemical sensors; nano composites; sono-electrochemistry; drug sensors; screen-printing and related; applications in forensic science viz forensic electrochemistry; nanoparticle synthesis
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jesus Iniesta Valcarcel

Physical Chemistry Department and Institute of Electrochemistry, University of Alicante, 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +34-965909850
Interests: adsorption of proteins and bioelectrocatalysis; electrochemistry of carbonaceous materials; sensors and biosensors; screen printed carbon electrodes; electrochemistry of ionic liquids; nanoporous carbons in fuel cells; environemntal applications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Catalytic processes are mostly incorporated in a majority of industrial processes, so catalysts synthesis characterization and performance are crucial steps for the amelioration of the rate control, selectivity, and specificity of the chemical reactions. Carbon-based supports are being introduced nowadays as appropriate materials support of catalysts compared to the most popular Al2O3 and/or SiO2, for its interesting properties, such as control of pore size and pore size distribution, nanostructural control, and surface chemistry tailoring. Nonetheless, the intrinsic properties of carbon-based materials play themselves a wide number of catalytic processes beyond supporting materials. Thus, carbon-based materials as catalysts can exhibit a plethora of applications in fields like photocatalysis, electrocatalysis, and photoelectrocatalysis, among many others, by simply tailoring their textural, structural and surface chemistry properties. Synthetic and electrosynthetic processes, energy driven reactions, sensing and environment remediation take advantages of the proper design and performance of carbon based catalysts. The main aim of this Special Issue is to present the most relevant and recent insights in the field of carbon based catalytic materials aiming mainly at the fundamental and applicable aspects by seeking for the influence of physical–chemical properties of carbon materials on rate and performance in chemical kinetics.

We look forward to your submission.

Prof. Dr. Craig E. Banks
Prof. Dr. Jesus Iniesta Valcarcel
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. C is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • carbon based supports
  • electrocatalysis
  • catalysis beyong electrochemistry
  • photoelectrocatalysis
  • photocatalysis
  • enzymatic catalysis
  • nanoreactors and scale up process
  • industrial applications

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Efficient Air Desulfurization Catalysts Derived from Pig Manure Liquefaction Char
C 2017, 3(4), 37; doi:10.3390/c3040037
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 20 November 2017
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Abstract
Biochar from the liquefaction of pig manure was used as a precursor of H2S desulfurization adsorbents. In its inorganic matter, it contains marked quantities of calcium, magnesium and iron, which are known as hydrogen sulfide oxidation catalysts. The char was used
[...] Read more.
Biochar from the liquefaction of pig manure was used as a precursor of H2S desulfurization adsorbents. In its inorganic matter, it contains marked quantities of calcium, magnesium and iron, which are known as hydrogen sulfide oxidation catalysts. The char was used either as-received or mixed with 10% nanographite. The latter was added to increase both the content of the carbon phase and conductivity. ZnCl2 in two different ratios of char to an activation agent (1:1 and 1:2) was used to create the porosity in the carbon phase. The content of the later was between 18–45%. The activated samples adsorbed 144 mg/g H2S. Sulfur was the predominant product of reactive adsorption. Its deposition in the pore system and blockage of the most active pores ceased the materials’ activity. The presence of the catalytic phase was necessary but not sufficient to guarantee good performance. The developed porosity, which can store oxidation products in the resulting composite, is essential for the good performance of the desulfurization process. The surface of the composite with nanographite showed the highest catalytic activity, similar to that of the commercial Midas® carbon catalyst. The results obtained indicate that a high quality reactive adsorbent/catalyst for H2S removal can be obtained from pig manure liquefaction wastes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Carbon Materials in Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Carbon on Copper–Carbon Composites for the Electrooxidation of Alcohols in an Alkaline Medium
C 2017, 3(4), 36; doi:10.3390/c3040036
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 20 November 2017
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Abstract
Copper–carbon composites were prepared following various different synthetic routes and using various carbon precursors (i.e., lignocellulose and graphite oxide), and were used as electrocatalysts for the oxidation of propargyl alcohol (PGA) in an alkaline medium. The electrochemical response of the copper-based catalysts was
[...] Read more.
Copper–carbon composites were prepared following various different synthetic routes and using various carbon precursors (i.e., lignocellulose and graphite oxide), and were used as electrocatalysts for the oxidation of propargyl alcohol (PGA) in an alkaline medium. The electrochemical response of the copper-based catalysts was analyzed in terms of the influence of the metallic species, the carbon matrix incorporated in the composites, and the chemical structure of the ionomers—Nafion and poly (4-vinylpyridine) cross-linked methyl chloride quaternary salt resin (4VP)—used in the fabrication of the electrodes. Data has shown that the incorporation of reduced graphene oxide sheets between the copper metallic particles increased the performance due to the increased conductivity provided by the carbonaceous phase. Catalytic inks with ca. 40 wt.% Nafion and 12 wt.% 4VP as ionomers provided the best electrochemical response and cohesion of the catalysts, minimizing the losses in the electroactivity of the copper species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Carbon Materials in Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle MoS2 Decorated Carbon Nanofibers as Efficient and Durable Electrocatalyst for Hydrogen Evolution Reaction
C 2017, 3(4), 33; doi:10.3390/c3040033
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
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Abstract
Hydrogen is an efficient fuel which can be generated via water splitting, however hydrogen evolution occurs at high overpotential, and efficient hydrogen evolution catalysts are desired to replace state-of-the-art catalysts such as platinum. Here, we report an advanced electrocatalyst that has low overpotential,
[...] Read more.
Hydrogen is an efficient fuel which can be generated via water splitting, however hydrogen evolution occurs at high overpotential, and efficient hydrogen evolution catalysts are desired to replace state-of-the-art catalysts such as platinum. Here, we report an advanced electrocatalyst that has low overpotential, efficient charge transfers kinetics, low Tafel slope and durable. Carbon nanofibers (CNFs), obtained by carbonizing electrospun fibers, were decorated with MoS2 using a facile hydrothermal method. The imaging of catalyst reveals a flower like morphology that allows for exposure of edge sulfur sites to maximize the HER process. HER activity of MoS2 decorated over CNFs was compared with MoS2 without CNFs and with commercial MoS2. MoS2 grown over CNFs and MoS2-synthesized produced about 374 and 98 times higher current density at −0.30 V (vs. Reversible Hydrogen Electrode, RHE) compared with the MoS2-commercial sample, respectively. MoS2-commercial, MoS2-synthesized and MoS2 grown over CNFs showed a Tafel slope of 165, 79 and 60 mV/decade, capacitance of 0.99, 5.87 and 15.66 mF/cm2, and turnover frequency of 0.013, 0.025 and 0.54 s−1, respectively. The enhanced performance of MoS2-CNFs is due to large electroactive surface area, more exposure of edge sulfur to the electrolyte, and easy charge transfer from MoS2 to the electrode through conducting CNFs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Carbon Materials in Catalysis)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Nitrogen-Doped Activated Carbon as Metal-Free Catalysts Having Various Functions
C 2017, 3(4), 31; doi:10.3390/c3040031
Received: 23 September 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 18 October 2017
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Abstract
Nitrogen-doped carbon materials have been gaining increasing interest as metal-free catalysts. In this article, the authors have briefly introduced their recent studies on the utilization of nitrogen-doped activated carbon (N-AC) for several organic synthesis reactions, which include base catalyzed reactions of Knoevenagel condensation
[...] Read more.
Nitrogen-doped carbon materials have been gaining increasing interest as metal-free catalysts. In this article, the authors have briefly introduced their recent studies on the utilization of nitrogen-doped activated carbon (N-AC) for several organic synthesis reactions, which include base catalyzed reactions of Knoevenagel condensation and transesterification, aerobic oxidation of xanthene and alcohols, and transfer hydrogenation of nitrobenzene, 3-nitrostyrene, styrene, and phenylacetylene with hydrazine. Doped-nitrogen species existed on the AC surface in different structures. For example, pyridine-type nitrogen species appear to be involved in the active sites for Knoevenagel condensation and for the oxidation of xanthene, while graphite-type nitrogen species appear to be involved for the oxidation of alcohols. Being different from these reactions, both surface nitrogen and oxygen species are involved in the active sites for the hydrogenation of nitrobenzene. N-AC was practically inactive for the transfer hydrogenation of vinyl and ethynyl groups, but it can catalyze those hydrogenation reactions assisted by co-existing nitrobenzene. Comparison of N-AC with conventional catalysts shows that N-AC can alternate with conventional solid base catalysts and supported metal catalysts for the Knoevenagel condensation and oxidation reactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Carbon Materials in Catalysis)
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Open AccessReview Fullerenes in Electrochemical Catalytic and Affinity Biosensing: A Review
C 2017, 3(3), 21; doi:10.3390/c3030021
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
Nanotechnology is becoming increasingly important in the field of (bio)sensors. The performance and sensitivity of electrochemical biosensors can be greatly improved by the integration of nanomaterials into their construction. In this sense, carbon nanomaterials have been widely used for preparation of biosensors due
[...] Read more.
Nanotechnology is becoming increasingly important in the field of (bio)sensors. The performance and sensitivity of electrochemical biosensors can be greatly improved by the integration of nanomaterials into their construction. In this sense, carbon nanomaterials have been widely used for preparation of biosensors due to their ability to enhance electron-transfer kinetics, high surface-to-volume ratios, and biocompatibility. Fullerenes are a very promising family of carbon nanomaterials and have attracted great interest in recent years in the design of novel biosensing systems due to fullerenes’ exceptional properties. These include multiple redox states, stability in many redox forms, easy functionalization and signal mediation. This paper outlines the state-of-the-art and future directions in the use and functionalization of fullerene-C60 and its derivatives, both as electrode modifiers and advanced labels in electrochemical catalytic and affinity biosensors through selected applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Carbon Materials in Catalysis)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Copper-doped nanoporous carbons obtained from natural precursors towards the electrocatalytic oxidation of alcohols under alkaline medium

Author: Leticia García-Cruz, Conchi O. Ania, Teresa J. Bandosz, Mykola Serudich, Vicente Montiel, Jesús Iniesta

Title: The role of structural and surface properties of phosphorylated carbon materials on the catalytic performance in dehydration reactions
Author: Sebastiano Campisi
Abstract: Phosphorylated carbons have been reported to be effective catalysts in dehydration reactions for biomass valorisation. The amount and the nature of P and O groups are a key parameter affecting the catalytic performances of functionalized materials. Herein, we investigate the role of structural and surface properties of carbon based materials in determining the number and the distribution of P-functionalities. Various carbon-based materials, namely activated carbon (AC), ordered mesoporous carbon (OMC), graphite (Graph) and carbon nanofibers (CNFs) with different graphitization degree, have been functionalized through treatment with a H3PO4-HNO3 mixture at 150°C. Surface and structural properties of bare and functionalized materials have been investigated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Raman Spectroscopy and Temperature-Programmed Desorption (TPD) experiments. The catalytic behaviour of phosphorylated carbon materials has been evaluated in the selective dehydration of fructose to HMF in order to elucidate structure-activity relationships.

Title: Electrostatic Adsorption of Platinum on Carbon Nanotubes and Nanofibers
Author: John Regalbuto, Ritubarna Banerjee
Abstract: Strong Electrostatic Adsorption (SEA) has been demonstrated as a simple, scientific method to prepare well dispersed Pt nanoparticles over typical forms of carbon: activated, black, and graphitic carbons. Many varieties of specialty carbons have been invented in the last few decades including multi-walled nanotubes, nanofibers, graphene nanoplatelets, etc. In this work we explore whether SEA can be applied to these specialty carbons for the synthesis of Pt nanoparticles.Over a number of oxidized and unoxidized multiwalled nanotubes and nanofibers the point of zero charge (PZC) was measured and the uptake of anionic Pt complexes (Pt hexachloride, [PtCl6]2-, and cationic Pt complexes (platinum tetraammine, [Pt(NH3)4]2+) as functions of final pH were surveyed. Pt nanoparticles on the various supports were synthesized at the optimal pH and were characterized by XRD and STEM. The specialty carbons displayed volcano-shaped uptake curves typical of electrostatic adsorption for both Pt anions at low pH and Pt cations at high pH. However, the regimes of uptake often did not correspond to the measured PZC. It was seen that the PZC of many of the carbons could be changed with washing, and so was likely affected by residual impurities of the manufacturing process. This renders the measured PZC of these specialty carbons unreliable for predicting anion and cation uptake. On the other hand, the anion and cation uptake curves provide an “effective” PZC and do indicate the optimal pH for the effective synthesis of ultrasmall nanoparticles.

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