Nanoporous Carbon: Liquid-Free Synthesis and Geometry Dependent Catalytic Performance

Ruoyu Xu, Liqun Kang, Johannes Knossalla, Jerrik Jørgen Mielby, Qiming Wang, Bolun Wang, Junrun Feng, Guanjie He, Yudao Qin, Jijia Xie, Ann-Christin Swertz, Qian He, Søren Kegnæs, Dan J. L. Brett, Ferdi Schüth, Feng Ryan Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Nanostructured carbons with different pore geometries are prepared with a liquid-free nanocasting method. The method uses gases instead of liquid to disperse carbon precursor, leach templates and remove impurities, minimizing synthetic procedures and the use of chemicals. The method is universal and demonstrated by the synthesis of 12 different porous carbons with various template sources. The effects of pore geometries in catalysis can be isolated and investigated. Two of the resulted materials with different pore geometries are studied as supports for Ru clusters in the hydrogenolysis of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and electrochemical hydrogen evolution (HER). The porous carbon supported Ru catalysts outperform commercial ones in both reactions. It was found that Ru on bottle-neck pore carbon shows highest yield in hydrogenolysis of HMF to 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF) due to a better confinement effect. A wide temperature operation window from 110 °C to 140 °C, with over 75% yield and 98% selectivity of DMF has been achieved. Tubular pores enable fast charge transfer in electrochemical HER, requiring only 16 mV overpotential to reach current density of 10 mA•cm-2.
Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Nano
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)2463-2472
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the author and source are cited.


  • Nanoporous carbon
  • Liquid-free synthesis
  • Pore geometry
  • Biomass conversion
  • Hydrogen evolution reaction

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