Nano Research

Article Title

Controlled synthesis of sustainable N-doped hollow core-mesoporous shell carbonaceous nanospheres from biomass


n-doped, biomass, hollow nanospheres, oxygen reduction reaction


Encompassing ecological and economic concerns, the utilization of biomass to produce carbonaceous materials has attracted intensive research and industrial interest. Using nitrogen containing precursors could realize an in situ and homogeneous incorporation of nitrogen into the carbonaceous materials with a controlled process. Herein, N-doped hollow core–disordered mesoporous shell carbonaceous nanospheres (HCDMSs) were synthesized from glucosamine hydrochloride (GAH), an applicable carbohydrate-based derivative. The obtained HCDMSs possessed controlled size (~450–50 nm) and shell thickness (~70–10 nm), suitable nitrogen contents (~6.7–4.4 wt.%), and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface areas up to 770 m2·g–1. These materials show excellent electrocatalytic activity as a metal-free catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in both alkaline and acidic media. Specifically, the prepared HCDMS-1 exhibits a high diffusion-limited current, and superior durability and better immunity towards methanol crossover and CO poisoning for ORR in alkaline solution than a commercial 20 wt.% Pt/C catalyst.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press