Cobalt nanoparticles encapsulated in porous nitrogen-doped carbon: Oxygen activation and efficient catalytic removal of formaldehyde at room temperature

Dandan Zhu, Yu Huang, Jun ji Cao, Shun Cheng Lee, Meijuan Chen, Zhenxing Shen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The removal of carcinogenic formaldehyde (HCHO) to improve indoor air quality has attracted significant attention. Designing efficient catalysts for practical HCHO oxidation without use of noble metals remains challenging. In this study, metallic Co nanoparticles were encapsulated with porous nitrogen-doped carbon (Co@NC). This catalyst achieved HCHO elimination at room temperature for the first time. The as-prepared Co@NC catalyst exhibited superior catalytic activity (>80%) for HCHO removal compared with the oxidized one, and possessed the excellent stability. Theoretical calculations showed that the metallic Co in Co@NC is the active site for O2 dissociation, which enhanced the catalytic activity compared to traditional transition-metal oxides, such as Co3O4 with the high-valence state Co3+ providing active sites. The formate species was the main intermediate, which was further oxidized to CO2 as the final product. Hence, an efficient non-noble-metal catalyst for room-temperature HCHO oxidation was developed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117981
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2019


  • Catalytic oxidation
  • HCHO removal
  • Metallic Co nanoparticles
  • Porous nitrogen-doped carbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology

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