Special Issue "Nanomaterials for Environmental Purification and Energy Conversion"

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Ewa Kowalska

Institute for Catalysis, Hokkaido University, N21, W10, 001-0026 Sapporo, Japan
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Interests: heterogeneous photocatalysis; advanced oxidation processes (AOPs); environmental purification; plasmonic nanoparticles; antimicrobial properties; visible-light-responsive materials
Guest Editor
Dr. Marcin Janczarek

Department of Chemical Technology, Gdansk University of Technology, Narutowicza 11/12, 80-233 Gdansk, Poland
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Interests: heterogeneous photocatalysis; photoresponsive nanomaterials; environmental purification; photocatalytic reactors
Guest Editor
Prof. Agata Markowska-Szczupak

Department of Biotechnology, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Pulaskiego 10, 70-322 Szczecin, Poland
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Interests: biotechnology; microbiology; drug delivery; nanomedicine; nanotechnology; cell biology; bionanoscience; nanomaterials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Symposium on Nanomaterials for Environmental Purification and Energy Conversion (SNEPEC) will be held in "snowy" city of Sapporo, at Hokkaido University, from 20 to 21 February, 2018.

The Symposium is organized (and sponsored) by the Institute for Catalysis, Hokkaido University, to share the knowledge and the development of catalysis science.

SPEPEC will have an exciting scientific program lead by renowned international experts, which will focus on the central role of catalysis in solving environmental and energy problems of modern societies at the interface of material, chemistry and environmental sciences.

The list of confirmed speakers includes, Michael R. Hoffmann (Caltech, USA; http://hoffmann.caltech.edu/), Detlef Bahnemann (Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany; https://www.lnqe.uni-hannover.de/bahnemann.html?&L=1), Bunsho Ohtani (Hokkaido University, http://pcat.cat.hokudai.ac.jp/pcat/), Teruhisa Ohno (Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan; https://research02.jimu.kyutech.ac.jp/html/98_en.html), Ryu Abe (Kyoto University, Japan; http://www.ehcc.kyoto-u.ac.jp/eh41/home/abe/en/profile/), Michael Wark (University Oldenburg, Germany; https://www.uni-oldenburg.de/tc-wark/).

The SNEPEC welcomes participants from industry, government, as well as academia, which are cordially invited to contribute original research papers or reviews to this Special Issue of Catalysts. The contributions from those who would like, but could not attend to the SNEPEC, are also welcome.

For more details, please visit http://www.cat.hokudai.ac.jp/icat-nepec/.

Prof. Ewa Kowalska
Dr. Marcin Janczarek
Prof. Agata Markowska-Szczupak
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Catalysts is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Heterogeneous photocatalysis

  • Nanomaterials fabrication

  • Environmental purification

  • Energy conversion

  • Water splitting

  • New techniques of nanomaterials characterization

  • Morphology-governed activity

  • Removal of microbiological pollutants

  • Water/wastewater treatment

  • Air treatment

  • Self-cleaning surfaces

  • Mechanism of pollutants’ decomposition

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Cu Nanoparticles/Fluorine-Doped Tin Oxide (FTO) Nanocomposites for Photocatalytic H2 Evolution under Visible Light Irradiation
Catalysts 2017, 7(12), 385; doi:10.3390/catal7120385
Received: 12 August 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
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Abstract
Copper nanoparticles/fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) nanocomposites were successfully prepared by a simple hydrothermal method. The synthesized nanocomposites were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-visible diffuse-reflectance spectrum (UV-VIS DRS), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Raman spectra, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS).
[...] Read more.
Copper nanoparticles/fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) nanocomposites were successfully prepared by a simple hydrothermal method. The synthesized nanocomposites were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-visible diffuse-reflectance spectrum (UV-VIS DRS), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Raman spectra, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The obtained Cu/FTO nanocomposites exhibit high photocatalytic activity for H2 evolution under visible light (λ > 420 nm) irradiation. When the content of Cu is 19.2 wt % for FTO, the Cu/FTO photocatalyst shows the highest photocatalytic activity and the photocatalytic H2 evolution rate is up to 11.22 μmol·h−1. Meanwhile, the photocatalyst exhibits excellent stability and repeatability. It is revealed that the transfer efficiency of the photogenerated electrons is improved greatly because of the intense interaction between Cu NPs and FTO. Furthermore, a possible mechanism is proposed for enhanced photocatalytic H2 evolution of Cu/FTO photocatalysts under visible light irradiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Environmental Purification and Energy Conversion)
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Open AccessArticle Promoting the Synthesis of Ethanol and Butanol by Salicylic Acid
Catalysts 2017, 7(10), 295; doi:10.3390/catal7100295
Received: 3 September 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 1 October 2017
PDF Full-text (3367 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were functionalized with salicylic acid (SA). The copper-cobalt catalyst was impregnated on the SA functionalized MWCNTs (SA-MWCNTs). The catalyst copper-cobalt/SA-MWCNTs was used to catalyze the synthesis of alcohols from synthesis gas. Salicylic acid can promote the synthesis of ethanol
[...] Read more.
Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were functionalized with salicylic acid (SA). The copper-cobalt catalyst was impregnated on the SA functionalized MWCNTs (SA-MWCNTs). The catalyst copper-cobalt/SA-MWCNTs was used to catalyze the synthesis of alcohols from synthesis gas. Salicylic acid can promote the synthesis of ethanol and butanol from synthesis gas, thus reducing the synthesis of methanol. This work demonstrated that salicylic acid not only can be used to functionalize carbon nanotubes, but also can enhance the production of ethanol and butanol from synthesis gas. On the other hand, the copper-cobalt catalyst supported on MWCNTs of 30 nm in diameter can synthesize more ethanol and butanol than supported on MWCNTs of 15 and 50 nm in diameter, indicating that the diameter of MWCNTs also has an effect on the synthesis of alcohols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Environmental Purification and Energy Conversion)
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Open AccessArticle Conductive Cotton Filters for Affordable and Efficient Water Purification
Catalysts 2017, 7(10), 291; doi:10.3390/catal7100291
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 26 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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Abstract
It is highly desirable to develop affordable, energy-saving, and highly-effective technologies to alleviate the current water crisis. In this work, we reported a low-cost electrochemical filtration device composing of a conductive cotton filter anode and a Ti foil cathode. The device was operated
[...] Read more.
It is highly desirable to develop affordable, energy-saving, and highly-effective technologies to alleviate the current water crisis. In this work, we reported a low-cost electrochemical filtration device composing of a conductive cotton filter anode and a Ti foil cathode. The device was operated by gravity feed. The conductive cotton filter anodes were fabricated by a facile dying method to incorporate carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as fillers. The CNTs could serve as adsorbents for pollutants adsorption, as electrocatalysts for pollutants electrooxidation, and as conductive additives to render the cotton filters highly conductive. Cellulose-based cotton could serve as low-cost support to ‘host’ these CNTs. Upon application of external potential, the developed filtration device could not only achieve physically adsorption of organic compounds, but also chemically oxide these compounds on site. Three model organic compounds were employed to evaluate the oxidative capability of the device, i.e., ferrocyanide (a model single-electron-transfer electron donor), methyl orange (MO, a common recalcitrant azo-dye found in aqueous environments), and antibiotic tetracycline (TC, a common antibiotic released from the wastewater treatment plants). The devices exhibited a maximum electrooxidation flux of 0.37 mol/h/m2 for 5.0 mmol/L ferrocyanide, of 0.26 mol/h/m2 for 0.06 mmol/L MO, and of 0.9 mol/h/m2 for 0.2 mmol/L TC under given experimental conditions. The effects of several key operational parameters (e.g., total cell potential, CNT amount, and compound concentration) on the device performance were also studied. This study could shed some light on the good design of effective and affordable water purification devices for point-of-use applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Environmental Purification and Energy Conversion)
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Open AccessArticle Hydrogen Production from Cyclic Chemical Looping Steam Methane Reforming over Yttrium Promoted Ni/SBA-16 Oxygen Carrier
Catalysts 2017, 7(10), 286; doi:10.3390/catal7100286
Received: 3 September 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
In this work, the modification of Ni/SBA-16 oxygen carrier (OC) with yttrium promoter is investigated. The yttrium promoted Ni-based oxygen carrier was synthesized via co-impregnation method and applied in chemical looping steam methane reforming (CL-SMR) process, which is used for the production of
[...] Read more.
In this work, the modification of Ni/SBA-16 oxygen carrier (OC) with yttrium promoter is investigated. The yttrium promoted Ni-based oxygen carrier was synthesized via co-impregnation method and applied in chemical looping steam methane reforming (CL-SMR) process, which is used for the production of clean energy carrier. The reaction temperature (500–750 °C), Y loading (2.5–7.4 wt. %), steam/carbon molar ratio (1–5), Ni loading (10–30 wt. %) and life time of OCs over 16 cycles at 650 °C were studied to investigate and optimize the structure of OC and process temperature with maximizing average methane conversion and hydrogen production yield. The synthesized OCs were characterized by multiples techniques. The results of X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) of reacted OCs showed that the presence of Y particles on the surface of OCs reduces the coke formation. The smaller NiO species were found for the yttrium promoted OC and therefore the distribution of Ni particles was improved. The reduction-oxidation (redox) results revealed that 25Ni-2.5Y/SBA-16 OC has the highest catalytic activity of about 99.83% average CH4 conversion and 85.34% H2 production yield at reduction temperature of 650 °C with the steam to carbon molar ratio of 2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Environmental Purification and Energy Conversion)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of NaOH-Modified TiOF2 and Its Enhanced Visible Light Photocatalytic Performance on RhB
Catalysts 2017, 7(8), 243; doi:10.3390/catal7080243
Received: 16 July 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 22 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5658 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
NaOH-modified TiOF2 was successfully prepared using a modified low-temperature hydrothermal method. Scanning electron microscopy shows that NaOH-modified TiOF2 displayed a complex network shape with network units of about 100 nm. The structures of NaOH-modified TiOF2 have not been reported elsewhere.
[...] Read more.
NaOH-modified TiOF2 was successfully prepared using a modified low-temperature hydrothermal method. Scanning electron microscopy shows that NaOH-modified TiOF2 displayed a complex network shape with network units of about 100 nm. The structures of NaOH-modified TiOF2 have not been reported elsewhere. The network shape permits the NaOH-modified TiOF2 a SBET of 36 m2∙g−1 and a pore diameter around 49 nm. X-ray diffraction characterization shows that TiOF2 and NaOH-modified TiOF2 are crystallized with a pure changed cubic phase which accords with the SEM results. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy characterization shows that NaOH-modified TiOF2 has more O–H groups to supply more lone electron pairs to transfer from O of O–H to Ti and O of TiOF2. UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) shows that the NaOH-modified TiOF2 sample has an adsorption plateau rising from 400 to 600 nm in comparison with TiOF2, and its band gap is 2.62 eV, lower than that of TiOF2. Due to the lower band gap, more O–H groups adsorption, network morphologies with larger surface area, and sensitization progress, the NaOH-modified TiOF2 exhibited much higher photocatalytic activity for Rhodamine B (RhB) degradation. In addition, considering the sensitization progress, O–H groups on TiOF2 not only accelerated the degradation rate of RhB, but also changed its degradation path. As a result, the NaOH-modified TiOF2 exhibited much higher photocatalytic activity for RhB degradation than the TiOF2 in references under visible light. This finding provides a new idea to enhance the photocatalytic performance by NaOH modification of the surface of TiOF2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Environmental Purification and Energy Conversion)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Recent Advances in Graphene Based TiO2 Nanocomposites (GTiO2Ns) for Photocatalytic Degradation of Synthetic Dyes
Catalysts 2017, 7(10), 305; doi:10.3390/catal7100305
Received: 24 August 2017 / Revised: 3 October 2017 / Accepted: 10 October 2017 / Published: 16 October 2017
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Abstract
Synthetic dyes are widely used in textile, paper, food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. During industrial processes, some of these dyes are released into the wastewater and their successive release into rivers and lakes produces serious environmental problems. TiO2 is one of the
[...] Read more.
Synthetic dyes are widely used in textile, paper, food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. During industrial processes, some of these dyes are released into the wastewater and their successive release into rivers and lakes produces serious environmental problems. TiO2 is one of the most widely studied and used photocatalysts for environmental remediation. However, it is mainly active under UV-light irradiation due to its band gap of 3.2 eV, while it shows low efficiency under the visible light spectrum. Regarding the exploration of TiO2 activation in the visible light region of the total solar spectrum, the incorporation of carbon nanomaterials, such as graphene, in order to form carbon-TiO2 composites is a promising area. Graphene, in fact, has a large surface area which makes it a good adsorbent for organic pollutants removal through the combination of electrostatic attraction and π-π interaction. Furthermore, it has a high electron mobility and therefore it reduces the electron-hole pair recombination, improving the photocatalytic activity of the semiconductor. In recent years, there was an increasing interest in the preparation of graphene-based TiO2 photocatalysts. The present short review describes the recent advances in TiO2 photocatalyst coupling with graphene materials with the aim of extending the light absorption of TiO2 from UV wavelengths into the visible region, focusing on recent progress in the design and applications in the photocatalytic degradation of synthetic dyes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Environmental Purification and Energy Conversion)
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