Chitosan-based N-Doped Carbon Materials for Electrocatalytic and Photocatalytic Applications

Ayesha Khan, Michael Goepel, Juan Carlos Colmenares, Roger Gläser

ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. (2020)


Chitosan-derived N-doped carbon materials are attractive candidates for the preparation of catalysts with a wide range of applications. Chitosan is a nitrogen rich (∼7 wt %) renewable biomass resource derived from seafood waste. Nitrogen-containing functional groups (amine and acetamide) of chitosan make it a suitable precursor for the synthesis of N-doped carbon materials. This perspective provides an overview on various techniques for the preparation and characterization of chitosan-based N-doped carbon materials and their application in the field of electrocatalysis and photocatalysis. Additional doping with nitrogen imparts greater electrochemical stability and basic character to the material due to the ability of nitrogen atoms to accept electrons. Nevertheless, each type of C–N bonding configuration has unique potential for catalytic reactions attributed to different electronic structure and catalytically active sites. The ability to acquire desired N-bonding states during the process of doping will provide a better control over the material application. The promising performance of chitosan-based N-doped carbon materials in electrocatalytic and photocatalytic reactions is attributed to their improved electronic structure and charge transfer properties. Moreover, research trends toward the design of chitosan-based N-doped carbons materials with required features for electrocatalytic and photocatalytic applications have also been identified.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 711859.