Morphological and chemical features of nano and macroscale carbons affecting hydrogen peroxide decomposition in aqueous media

Kateryna V. Voitko, Raymond L.D. Whitby, Vladimir M. Gun'ko, Olga M. Bakalinska, Mykola T. Kartel, Krisztina Laszlo, Andrew B. Cundy, Sergey V. Mikhalovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Chemical and structural factors of carbon materials affect their activity in adsorption and surface reactions in aqueous media. Decomposition of hydrogen peroxide studied is a probe reaction for exploring parameters of carbons that might be involved, such as specific surface area, nitrogen and oxygen doping and conformational changes. To date, a detailed comparison of the behavior of carbon nanoscale (Carbon Nanotubes, CNT, Single Layer Graphene Oxide, SLGO) with macroscale (Activated carbons, AC) materials in this reaction has not been forthcoming. Herein, we demonstrate that on their first cycle, ACs in doped and undoped forms outperform all nanoscale carbons tested in the H2O2 decomposition. Among the nanocarbons, nitrogen-doped CNT exhibited the highest activity in this reaction. However, subsequent recycling of each carbon, without chemical regeneration between uses, reveals SLGO exhibits greater reaction rate stability over an extended number of cycles (n>8) than other carbons including nitrogen-doped CNT and ACs. The effects of pH, temperature and concentration on the reaction were analyzed. Quantum-chemical modeling and reaction kinetics analysis reveal key processes likely involved in hydrogen peroxide decomposition and show evidence that the reaction rate is linked to active sites with N-and O-containing functionalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2011


  • Activated carbons
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • HO decomposition
  • Quantum-chemical modeling
  • Reaction rate constant distributions
  • Single Layer Graphene Oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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