Featured Articles

Degradation of Cosmetic Microplastics via Functionalized Carbon Nanosprings

Matter, 2019, 1, 1–14.



Microplastics (MPs) pollution in household wastewater and global aquatic systems has become an emerging issue and potential threat to marine life and human health. However, advanced technologies for efficient MPs control and purification remain largely underdeveloped. Herein, we present integrated carbocatalytic oxidation and hydrothermal (HT) hydrolysis of microplastics over magnetic spring-like carbon nanotubes. The robust carbon hybrids exhibited an outstanding MPs degradation performance by catalytic activation of peroxymonosulfate to generate reactive radicals. The spiral architecture and highly graphitic degree guaranteed the superb stability of the carbocatalysts in HT environment. The toxicity tests indicated that the organic intermediates from MPs degradation were environmentally benign to the aquatic microorganisms and can serve as a carbon source for algae cultivation. The outcomes of this study are dedicated to providing a green strategy by integrating state-of-the-art carbocatalysis and nanotechnology for remediation of MPs contamination in water.


Persulfate Activation on Crystallographic Manganese Oxides: Mechanism of Singlet Oxygen Evolution for Nonradical Selective Degradation of Aqueous Contaminants

Environmental Science & Technology, 2019, 53 (1), pp 307–315


In this study, one-dimension manganese dioxides (α- and β-MnO2) were discovered as effective PDS activators among the diverse manganese oxides for selective degradation of organic contaminants. A comprehensive study was conducted  to identity the reactive oxygen species (ROS). Singlet oxygen (1O2) was unveiled to be the primary ROS, which was generated by direct oxidation or recombination of superoxide ions and radicals from a metastable manganese intermediate at neutral pH. The study dedicates to the first mechanistic study into PDS activation over manganese oxides and provides a novel catalytic system for selective removal of organic contaminants in wastewater.


Metal-Free Carbocatalysis in Advanced Oxidation Reactions

Accounts of Chemical Research, 2018, 51 (3), pp 678–687



Since our reports of heterogeneous activation of persulfates with low-dimensional nanocarbons, the novel oxidative system has raised tremendous interest for degradation of organic contaminants in wastewater without secondary contamination. In this Account, we showcase our recent contributions to metal-free catalysis in advanced oxidation, including design of nanocarbon catalysts, exploration of intrinsic active sites, and identification of reactive species and reaction pathways, and we offer perspectives on carbocatalysis for future environmental applications.


Heteroatom (N or N-S)-Doping Induced Layered and Honeycomb Microstructures of Porous Carbons for CO2 Capture and Energy Applications

Advanced Functional Materials. In press (DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201603937)

In this study, N-doped layered and N, S codoped honeycomb carbons have been fabricated, and the hydrogen-bond interactions during the self-assembly process are suggested to be responsible for the formation of different pore frameworks. The tailored micropore/mesopore architecture and heteroatom doping of the porous carbons synergistically induce enhanced CO2 capture capacity/selectivity and improved oxygen reduction reaction activities.What's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...


N-Doping-Induced Nonradical Reaction on Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for Catalytic Phenol Oxidation

ACS Catalysis, 2015, 5 (2), 553–559

Metal-free materials have been demonstrated to be promising alternatives to conventional metal-based catalysts. In this study, N-doped carbon nanotubes (NoCNTs) were employed as metal-free catalysts for phenol catalytic oxidation with sulfate radicals and, more importantly, a detailed mechanism of PMS activation and the roles of nitrogen heteroatoms were comprehensively investigated. For the first time, a nonradical pathway accompanied by radical generation (•OH and SO4•–) in phenol oxidation with PMS was discovered upon nitrogen heteroatom doping.  


Sulfur and Nitrogen Co-Doped Graphene for Metal-Free Catalytic Oxidation Reactions

Small 2015 11 (25), 3036-3044

Facile synthesis of S and N co-doped graphene (SNG) demonstrated superior catalytic activity in activation of peroxymonosulfate for phenol oxidation, providing 86.6-fold higher efficiency than graphene oxide, and 22.8, 19.7, and 4.5 times higher than pristine graphene, S-dope rGO , and N-doped rGO , respectively. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations were carried out to elucidate the mechanism of the enhanced catalytic performances. This paper is featured as Frontispiece Cover and highlighted by Material Views.


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Journal Articles 

  • Duan, X., Z. Ao, H. Sun, S. Indrawirawan, Y. Wang, J. Kang, F. Liang, Z. H. Zhu, and S. Wang. 2015.“Nitrogen-Doped Graphene for Generation and Evolution of Reactive Radicals by Metal-Free Catalysis.”ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 7: 4169-4178.

  • Duan, X., H. Sun, Y. Wang, J. Kang, and S. Wang. 2015.“N-Doping-Induced Nonradical Reaction on Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for Catalytic Phenol Oxidation.”ACS Catalysis 5: 553-559.

  • Shen, Z., P. Liang, S. Wang, L. Liu, and S. Liu. 2015.“Green synthesis of carbon- and silver-modified hierarchical ZnO with excellent solar light driven photocatalytic performance.”ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering 3 (5): 1010-1016.

  • Wang, Y., H. Sun, H. Ang, M. O. Tade, and S. Wang. 2015.“3 D-hierarchically structured MnO2 for catalytic oxidation of phenol solutions by activation of peroxymonosulfate: Structure dependence and mechanism.Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 164: 159-167.

  • Duan, X., H. Sun, J. Kang, Y. Wang, S. Indrawirawan, and S. Wang. 2015.“Insights into Heterogeneous Catalysis of Persulfate Activation on Dimensional-Structured Nanocarbons.”ACS Catalysis 5: 4629-4636.

  • Wang, Y., H. Sun, X. Duan, H. Ang, M. O. Tade, and S. Wang. 2015.“A new magnetic nano zero-valent iron encapsulated in carbon spheres for oxidative degradation of phenol.”Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 172-173: 73-81.

  • Indrawirawan, S., H. Sun, X. Duan, and S. Wang. 2015.“Nanocarbons in different structural dimensions (0-3D) for phenol adsorption and metal-free catalytic oxidation.”Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 179: 352-362.

  • Duan, X., S. Indrawirawan, H. Sun, and S. Wang. 2015.“Effects of nitrogen-, boron-, and phosphorus-doping or codoping on metal-free graphene catalysis.Catalysis Today 249: 184-191.

  • Ai, B., X. Duan, H. Sun, X. Qiu, and S. Wang. 2015.“Metal-free graphene-carbon nitride hybrids for photodegradation of organic pollutants in water.”Catalysis Today 258 (Part 2): 688-675.

  • Wang, Y., L. Zhou, X. Duan, H. Sun, E. L. Tin, W. Jin, and S. Wang. 2015.“Photochemical degradation of phenol solutions on Co3O4 nanorods with sulfate radicals.”Catalysis Today 258: 576-584.

  • Duan, X., Z. Ao, H. Sun, L. Zhou, G. Wang, and S. Wang. 2015.“Insights into N-doping in single-walled carbon nanotubes for enhanced activation of superoxides: A mechanistic study.”Chemical Communications 51 (83): 15249-15252.

  • Wang, Y., S. Indrawirawan, X. Duan, H. Sun, H. Ang, M. O. Tade, and S. Wang. 2015.“New insights into heterogeneous generation and evolution processes of sulfate radicals for phenol degradation over one-dimensional a-MnO2 nanostructures.”Chemical Engineering Journal 266: 12-20.

  • Zhou, G., L. Zhou, H. Sun, H. Ang, M. O. Tade, and S. Wang. 2015.“Carbon microspheres supported cobalt catalysts for phenol oxidation with peroxymonosulfate.”Chemical Engineering Research and Design 101: 15-21.

  • Duan, X., K. O’Donnell, H. Sun, Y. Wang, and S. Wang. 2015.“Sulfur and nitrogen co-doped graphene for metal-free catalytic oxidation reactions.”Small 11: 3036-3044.

  • Rada, Z. H., H. Abid, J. Shang, Y. He, P. Webley, S. Liu, H. Sun, and S. Wang. 2015.“Effects of amino functionality on uptake of CO<inf>2</inf>, CH<inf>4</inf> and selectivity of CO<inf>2</inf>/CH<inf>4</inf> on titanium based MOFs.”Fuel 160: 318-327.

  • Rada, Z. H., H. R. Abid, H. Sun, and S. Wang. 2015.“Bifunctionalized Metal Organic Frameworks, UiO-66-NO<inf>2</inf>-N (N = -NH<inf>2</inf>, -(OH)<inf>2</inf>, -(COOH)<inf>2</inf>), for Enhanced Adsorption and Selectivity of CO<inf>2</inf> and N<inf>2</inf>.”Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data 60 (7): 2152-2161.

  • He, J., H. Sun, S. Indrawirawan, X. Duan, M. O. Tade, and S. Wang. 2015.“Novel polyoxometalateatg-C<inf>3</inf>N<inf>4</inf> hybrid photocatalysts for degradation of dyes and phenolics.”Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 456: 15-21.

  • Yao, Y., F. Lu, Y. Zhu, F. Wei, X. Liu, C. Lian, and S. Wang. 2015.“Magnetic core-shell CuFe<inf>2</inf>O<inf>4</inf>@C<inf>3</inf>N<inf>4</inf> hybrids for visible light photocatalysis of Orange II.”Journal of Hazardous Materials 297: 224-233.

  • Yao, Y., J. Qin, H. Chen, F. Wei, X. Liu, J. Wang, and S. Wang. 2015.“One-pot approach for synthesis of N-doped TiO2/ZnFe2O4 hybrid as an efficient photocatalyst for degradation of aqueous organic pollutants.”Journal of Hazardous Materials 291: 28-37.

  • Indrawirawan S, Sun H, Duan X, Wang S.2015 Low temperature combustion synthesis of nitrogen-doped graphene for metal-free catalytic oxidationJournal of Materials Chemistry A 3 (7), 3432-3440

  • Yao, Y., Y. Cai, G. Wu, F. Wei, X. Li, H. Chen, and S. Wang. 2015.“Sulfate radicals induced from peroxymonosulfate by cobalt manganese oxides (Co<inf>x</inf>Mn<inf>3-x</inf>O<inf>4</inf>) for Fenton-Like reaction in water.Journal of Hazardous Materials 296: 128-137