Formation of graphene oxide nanocomposites from carbon dioxide using ammonia borane

Junshe Zhang, Yu Zhao, Xudong Guan, Ruth E. Stark, Daniel L. Akins, Jae W. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To efficiently recycle CO 2 to economically viable products such as liquid fuels and carbon nanomaterials, the reactivity of CO 2 is required to be fully understood. We have investigated the reaction of CO 2 with ammonia borane (AB), both molecules being able to function as either an acid or a base, to obtain more insight into the amphoteric activity of CO 2. In the present work, we demonstrate that CO 2 can be converted to graphene oxide (GO) using AB at moderate conditions. The conversion consists of two consecutive steps: CO 2 fixation (CO 2 pressure <3 MPa and temperature <100 °C) and graphenization (600-750 °C under 0.1 MPa of N 2). The first step generates a solid compound that contains methoxy (OCH 3), formate (HCOO), and aliphatic groups, while the second graphenization is the pyrolysis of the solid compound to produce graphene oxide-boron oxide nanocomposites, which have been confirmed by micro-Raman spectroscopy, solid-state 13C and 11B magic angle spinning-nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS NMR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Our observations also show that the mass of solid product in CO 2 fixation process and raw graphene oxide nanocomposites is twice and 1.2 times that of AB initially charged, respectively. The formation of aliphatic groups without using metal-containing compounds at mild conditions is of great interest to the synthesis of various organic products starting from CO 2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2639-2644
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 26 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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