One-pot synthesis of boron and nitrogen co-doped nanocarbons for efficient catalytic reduction of nitrophenols

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Chemical Engineering Journal






School of Science


China MOST (2018YFE0183600), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51876093).


Zhang, J., Geng, W., Shi, L., Yang, C., Zhang, X., Geng, Y., ... & Sun, H. (2022). One–pot synthesis of boron and nitrogen co–doped nanocarbons for efficient catalytic reduction of nitrophenols. Chemical Engineering Journal, 135733. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2022.135733


The earth–abundant, highly active, and multifunctional catalysts have attracted enormous interest in heterogeneous catalysis for environmental remediation. Herein, boron and nitrogen co–doped porous nanocarbons (BNC) are synthesized with a one–pot and scalable approach as promising metal–free catalyst materials. The resulting BNC catalysts display controllable morphologies varying from the nanotubes to nanosheets, along with tunable C–N and B–C ratios. Possessing large surface area, highly accessible active centers as well as excellent adsorption capacity, the as–prepared BNC catalysts demonstrate an outstanding hydrogenation reduction of nitrophenols to corresponding aminophenols. Taking 4–nitrophenol reduction as proof–of–concept, the as–synthesized BNC–H-0.30 catalyst exhibits an impressive catalytic activity with a low activation energy of 30.65 kJ mol−1, an impressive reaction rate constant of 6.99 × 10−3 s−1, and acceptable recyclability for 7 cycles without obvious activity decline. Combining both experimental exploration and density functional theory (DFT) calculation, the synergistic effect of graphite N and BCO2 structures within the carbon framework mainly contributes to the high activity. This work not only sheds new light on the rational design of versatile carbon–based catalysts, but paves a new avenue for efficient pollutant conversion and elimination.



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