Special Issue "Carbon Materials for Green Catalysis"

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Frédéric Jaouen

Laboratory for Aggregates Interfaces and Materials for Energy, Institute for Molecular Chemistry and Material Sciences (UMR CNRS 5253), Montpellier 34095, France
Website | E-Mail
Interests: electrocatalysis; oxygen reduction; fuel cell; electrolysis; Earth-abundant catalysts

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Novel catalytic materials will play a key role in the roll-out of green technologies needed for a reduced dependence on fossil fuels. However, the majority of catalytic materials developed, or being developed, for large-scale production of chemicals and fuels, or for the production and storage of renewable energy, rely on precious metals or rare-earth elements. This situation threatens the deployment and sustainability of key technologies needed for a CO2-neutral and sustainable economy (photovoltaic electricity, electrochemical energy conversion, biofuel synthesis). In the search for inexpensive materials with retained catalytic function, improved selectivity or tolerance, carbon-based materials have recently shown great promise for a wide range of catalytic applications, encompassing hydrogenation reactions and various electrochemical reactions of fundamental importance for renewable energy conversion and storage.

This Special Issue aims to cover recent progress and understanding in the field of carbon-based materials for renewable energy production and storage, including biofuel synthesis. Experimental and theoretical studies investigating the catalytic properties of carbon allotropes or amorphous carbon materials doped with light elements or with metal atoms covalently integrated in the carbon matrix are particularly welcome. In particular, single-atom-catalysts integrated in a carbon matrix have emerged as a successful approach combining the advantages of organic and inorganic catalysts, offering the ultimate utilization of active elements or tuning the electronic and chemical properties of carbon. Synergetic effects between a carbon substrate and a secondary structure dispersed on its surface are also of interest to this special issue, provided that the synergetic or catalytic role of the carbon substrate is clearly demonstrated. Structure-property relationships or synthetic approaches exposed in this Special Issue for a wide variety of carbon-based materials and for a wide range of catalytic applications will expectedly help fostering cross-fertilizing new ideas in this rapidly developing research field.

Dr. Frédéric Jaouen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Carbon
  • Carbon metal composites
  • Single atom catalyst
  • Oxygen reduction
  • Hydrogenation reactions
  • CO2 reduction
  • Hydrogen evolution
  • Active site identification
  • Electrochemical energy conversion
  • Computational catalysis

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Carbon-Based Air-Breathing Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cells
Catalysts 2016, 6(9), 127; doi:10.3390/catal6090127
Received: 21 June 2016 / Revised: 10 August 2016 / Accepted: 19 August 2016 / Published: 24 August 2016
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (5995 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A comparison between different carbon-based gas-diffusion air-breathing cathodes for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is presented in this work. A micro-porous layer (MPL) based on carbon black (CB) and an activated carbon (AC) layer were used as catalysts and applied on different supporting materials,
[...] Read more.
A comparison between different carbon-based gas-diffusion air-breathing cathodes for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is presented in this work. A micro-porous layer (MPL) based on carbon black (CB) and an activated carbon (AC) layer were used as catalysts and applied on different supporting materials, including carbon cloth (CC), carbon felt (CF), and stainless steel (SS) forming cathode electrodes for MFCs treating urine. Rotating ring disk electrode (RRDE) analyses were done on CB and AC to: (i) understand the kinetics of the carbonaceous catalysts; (ii) evaluate the hydrogen peroxide production; and (iii) estimate the electron transfer. CB and AC were then used to fabricate electrodes. Half-cell electrochemical analysis, as well as MFCs continuous power performance, have been monitored. Generally, the current generated was higher from the MFCs with AC electrodes compared to the MPL electrodes, showing an increase between 34% and 61% in power with the AC layer comparing to the MPL. When the MPL was used, the supporting material showed a slight effect in the power performance, being that the CF is more powerful than the CC and the SS. These differences also agree with the electrochemical analysis performed. However, the different supporting materials showed a bigger effect in the power density when the AC layer was used, being the SS the most efficient, with a power generation of 65.6 mW·m−2, followed by the CC (54 mW·m−2) and the CF (44 mW·m−2). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Materials for Green Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle An Oxygen Reduction Study of Graphene-Based Nanomaterials of Different Origin
Catalysts 2016, 6(7), 108; doi:10.3390/catal6070108
Received: 13 June 2016 / Revised: 8 July 2016 / Accepted: 12 July 2016 / Published: 22 July 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (6136 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The aim of this study is to compare the electrochemical behaviour of graphene-based materials of different origin, e.g., commercially available graphene nanosheets from two producers and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) towards the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) using linear sweep voltammetry, rotating disc electrode
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to compare the electrochemical behaviour of graphene-based materials of different origin, e.g., commercially available graphene nanosheets from two producers and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) towards the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) using linear sweep voltammetry, rotating disc electrode and rotating ring-disc electrode methods. We also investigate the effect of catalyst ink preparation using two different solvents (2-propanol containing OH ionomer or N,N-dimethylformamide) on the ORR. The graphene-based materials are characterised by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Clearly, the catalytic effect depends on the origin of graphene material and, interestingly, the electrocatalytic activity of the catalyst material for ORR is lower when using the OH ionomer in electrode modification. The graphene electrodes fabricated with commercial graphene show better ORR performance than rGO in alkaline solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Materials for Green Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle Facile Synthesis of Vanadium Oxide/Reduced Graphene Oxide Composite Catalysts for Enhanced Hydroxylation of Benzene to Phenol
Catalysts 2016, 6(5), 74; doi:10.3390/catal6050074
Received: 4 March 2016 / Revised: 5 May 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 17 May 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2364 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The vanadium oxide/reduced graphene oxide (VOx/RGO) composites have been prepared by a simple solvothermal method with the assistance of cationic surfactant cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB). The microstructure and morphology of the resultant VOx/RGO composites have been well characterized. The VO
[...] Read more.
The vanadium oxide/reduced graphene oxide (VOx/RGO) composites have been prepared by a simple solvothermal method with the assistance of cationic surfactant cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB). The microstructure and morphology of the resultant VOx/RGO composites have been well characterized. The VOx nanoparticles are highly dispersed on the RGO sheets with a particle size of about 25 nm. When used as hydroxylation catalysts, the VOx/RGO composites are more efficient than individual RGO and vanadium oxide catalysts. The enhanced catalytic performance may be related to not only the well dispersed VOx active species, but also the hydrophobic surface and huge π-electron system of RGO for the adsorption and activation of benzene. In addition, the effects of calcination conditions on the microstructure and catalytic properties of VOx/RGO composites have also been investigated. The uniform VOx nanoparticles on the separated RGO sheets show highly efficient catalytic performance, while the formation of aggregated HxV2O5 and bulk V2O5 species along with the destruction of RGO sheets are poor for the hydroxylation of benzene. Up to 17.4% yield of phenol is achieved under the optimized catalytic reaction conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Materials for Green Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle Carbon Supported Oxide-Rich Pd-Cu Bimetallic Electrocatalysts for Ethanol Electrooxidation in Alkaline Media Enhanced by Cu/CuOx
Catalysts 2016, 6(5), 62; doi:10.3390/catal6050062
Received: 20 March 2016 / Revised: 13 April 2016 / Accepted: 19 April 2016 / Published: 26 April 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2244 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Different proportions of oxide-rich PdCu/C nanoparticle catalysts were prepared by the NaBH4 reduction method, and their compositions were tuned by the molar ratios of the metal precursors. Among them, oxide-rich Pd0.9Cu0.1/C (Pd:Cu = 9:1, metal atomic ratio) exhibits
[...] Read more.
Different proportions of oxide-rich PdCu/C nanoparticle catalysts were prepared by the NaBH4 reduction method, and their compositions were tuned by the molar ratios of the metal precursors. Among them, oxide-rich Pd0.9Cu0.1/C (Pd:Cu = 9:1, metal atomic ratio) exhibits the highest electrocatalytic activity for ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR) in alkaline media. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) confirmed the existence of both Cu and CuOx in the as-prepared Pd0.9Cu0.1/C. About 74% of the Cu atoms are in their oxide form (CuO or Cu2O). Besides the synergistic effect of Cu, CuOx existed in the Pd-Cu bimetallic nanoparticles works as a promoter for the EOR. The decreased Pd 3d electron density disclosed by XPS is ascribed to the formation of CuOx and the spill-over of oxygen-containing species from CuOx to Pd. The low Pd 3d electron density will decrease the adsorption of CH3COads intermediates. As a result, the electrocatalytic activity is enhanced. The onset potential of oxide-rich Pd0.9Cu0.1/C is negative shifted 150 mV compared to Pd/C. The oxide-rich Pd0.9Cu0.1/C also exhibited high stability, which indicated that it is a candidate for the anode of direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFCs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Materials for Green Catalysis)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Recent Progress on MOF-Derived Nanomaterials as Advanced Electrocatalysts in Fuel Cells
Catalysts 2016, 6(8), 116; doi:10.3390/catal6080116
Received: 19 June 2016 / Revised: 14 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 2 August 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (5982 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Developing a low cost, highly active and durable cathode material is a high-priority research direction toward the commercialization of low-temperature fuel cells. However, the high cost and low stability of useable materials remain a considerable challenge for the widespread adoption of fuel cell
[...] Read more.
Developing a low cost, highly active and durable cathode material is a high-priority research direction toward the commercialization of low-temperature fuel cells. However, the high cost and low stability of useable materials remain a considerable challenge for the widespread adoption of fuel cell energy conversion devices. The electrochemical performance of fuel cells is still largely hindered by the high loading of noble metal catalyst (Pt/Pt alloy) at the cathode, which is necessary to facilitate the inherently sluggish oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Under these circumstances, the exploration of alternatives to replace expensive Pt-alloy for constructing highly efficient non-noble metal catalysts has been studied intensively and received great interest. Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) a novel type of porous crystalline materials, have revealed potential application in the field of clean energy and demonstrated a number of advantages owing to their accessible high surface area, permanent porosity, and abundant metal/organic species. Recently, newly emerging MOFs materials have been used as templates and/or precursors to fabricate porous carbon and related functional nanomaterials, which exhibit excellent catalytic activities toward ORR or oxygen evolution reaction (OER). In this review, recent advances in the use of MOF-derived functional nanomaterials as efficient electrocatalysts in fuel cells are summarized. Particularly, we focus on the rational design and synthesis of highly active and stable porous carbon-based electrocatalysts with various nanostructures by using the advantages of MOFs precursors. Finally, further understanding and development, future trends, and prospects of advanced MOF-derived nanomaterials for more promising applications of clean energy are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Materials for Green Catalysis)
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Open AccessReview Nanocarbons with Different Dimensions as Noble-Metal-Free Co-Catalysts for Photocatalysts
Catalysts 2016, 6(8), 111; doi:10.3390/catal6080111
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 16 July 2016 / Accepted: 21 July 2016 / Published: 28 July 2016
PDF Full-text (4973 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this review, we provide an overview of recent progress in nanocarbons with different dimensions as noble-metal-free co-catalysts for photocatalysts. We put emphasis on the interface engineering between nanocarbon co-catalysts and various semiconductor photocatalysts and the novel properties generating of nanocarbon co-catalysts, also
[...] Read more.
In this review, we provide an overview of recent progress in nanocarbons with different dimensions as noble-metal-free co-catalysts for photocatalysts. We put emphasis on the interface engineering between nanocarbon co-catalysts and various semiconductor photocatalysts and the novel properties generating of nanocarbon co-catalysts, also including the synthesis and application of nanocarbon-based photocatalyst composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Materials for Green Catalysis)
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