Carbon-based, metal-free catalysts for chemical catalysis

Mehulkumar Patel, Keerthi Savaram, Qingdong Li, Jonathan Buchspies, Ning Ma, Michal Szostak, Huixin He

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


In response to the environmental and sustainable issues worldwide, there is a continued drive toward the development of efficient and selective heterogeneous catalysts. The recent surge in metal-free carbocatalysis demonstrates great potential in a wide spectrum of applications. However, their practical application is still largely hindered by the low efficiency compared to its metallic counterpart. Fundamental understanding of the catalytic mechanisms at molecular and atomic levels and identifying the catalytic centers and detrimental functional groups are required for designing and developing more efficient carbocatalysts to satisfy practical industrial applications. The main focus of this review is to summarize several fundamental and industrially relevant catalytic reactions (dehydrogenation, oxidation, and reduction and cross-coupling reactions) with different allotropes of carbon materials as metal-free catalysts. The special emphasis is brought to the catalytic mechanisms, the identification of catalytic centers and detrimental sites or functional groups on carbocatalysts. Possible strategies to block or transform them to more beneficial centers are also included. Further, the latest advances in the application of graphene-derived materials as carbocatalysts in carbon-carbon cross-coupling reactions are specifically reviewed to stimulate further interest in the application of carbocatalysts in a more advanced organic synthesis. In the last section, perspective and suggestions are given for future research to transform the great potential of carbocatalysis to industrial domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCarbon-Based Metal-Free Catalysts
Subtitle of host publicationDesign and Applications
PublisherWiley-VCH Verlag
Number of pages61
ISBN (Electronic)9783527811458
ISBN (Print)9783527343416
StatePublished - Jul 31 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Carbon-based materials
  • Carbon-carbon couplings
  • Direct dehydrogenation
  • Metal-free carbocatalysts
  • Oxidative dehydrogenation
  • Physicochemical properties
  • Reduction reactions


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