Low-temperature hydrogenation of nanodiamond as a strategy to fabricate sp3-hybridized nanocarbon as a high-performance persulfate activator

Gundu Gim, Zeeshan Haider, Sae In Suh, Yong Yoon Ahn, Kitae Kim, Eun Ju Kim, Hongshin Lee, Hyoung il Kim, Jaesang Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents the first instance of the application of hydrogenated nanodiamonds (H-NDs) for persulfate activation and the associated organic degradation. Surface hydrogenation at 600 ℃, confirmed by the increased surface density of the C-H moiety in XPS and FT-IR spectra, produced H-NDs that outperformed graphitized NDs (prepared via annealing at 1000 ℃) in terms of organic degradation and persulfate utilization efficiency. Hydrogenation improved the electrical conductivity of NDs; however, it was not accompanied by an increase in the sp2 carbon content − in contrast to energy-intensive ND graphitization − resulting from sp3-to-sp2 carbon transformation. In addition to the enhanced electron-transfer mediating activity, evidenced by the negative shift of the open circuit potential and current generation, isothermal titration calorimetry measurements indicated a significantly higher binding affinity of H-ND toward persulfate compared with that of graphitized ND. Multiple empirical results confirmed the progress of electron-transfer mediation as a major activation pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121589
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korean government [grant no. 2021R1A2C2003763] and the National R&D Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2021M3H4A1A03049662).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Electron-transfer mediation
  • Nanodiamond
  • Non-radical persulfate activation
  • Surface binding affinity
  • Surface hydrogenation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Environmental Science
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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