Single-atom carbon-based catalysts in high oxidation reactions for water remediation: from materials to reaction pathways

Author(s): Jenish Sukhla

SACs are widely recognized as the most advanced catalysts for environmental remediation due to their high efficiency, 100% metal atom utilization, near-zero secondary pollution, and robust structures. Recently, the use of persulfate in advanced oxidation processes (AOP’s) with carbon based SACs has raised great interest in the decomposition of novel contaminants in wastewater, due to its high and versatile ability to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, the detailed and critical review of the relationship between carbon based SAC structures and the resulting generated ROS is still very limited. In this article, we provide a systematic overview of the basic understanding and intrinsic mechanisms between the single metal atom (SMAT) active sites and the produced ROS during an AOP. First, the types of emerging contaminants are discussed; presenting the pre-existing pollutants that must be degraded. Then, the preparation and characterization methods for carbon based SAC are discussed. The basic material structure-ROS type relationships for persulfate based AOPs are discussed in detail to explain the catalytic mechanisms. Finally, we conclude with the current state of development of carbon based SAC in an AOP and suggest the future prospects of rational design, synthesis, and catalytic performances for carbon SAC in AOP in future research