Special Issue "Sol–Gel Chemistry: A Toolbox for Catalyst Preparation"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Damien P. Debecker

Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences, Université catholique de Louvain, Place L. Pasteur 1, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Website1 | Website2 | E-Mail
Interests: heterogeneous catalysis; porous materials; green chemistry; biocatalysis; biomass conversion; CO2 conversion; enzyme immobilization; flow chemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sol–gel chemistry encompasses a wide range of chemical routes that allow producing tailored solid materials starting form molecular precursors. Specifically in the field of heterogeneous catalysts preparation, sol–gel methods permit the design of advanced catalytic formulations showing unique properties. Taking advantage of the controlled synthesis conditions in sol–gel methods, chemists develop catalytic materials which exhibit improved catalytic performance thanks to their advantageous textures, structures, compositions, homogeneity, surface functionality, etc. This field is evolving quickly as, for example, new processing modes, new molecular precursors or new templating agents are proposed.

In fact, our ability to modernise industrial chemistry, strongly relies on our aptitude to design and understand new types of catalysts with specific properties and exhibiting remarkable catalytic behaviour. The challenges are numerous. The transition from a petro-based chemical industry to a bio-based one requires multifunctional catalysts that can withstand polar working conditions. Embracing the huge potential of natural or genetically engineered enzymes requires effective immobilization strategies to obtain efficient heterogeneous biocatalysts. Turning batch chemical processes into continuous flow mode processes requires catalysts that can be moulded so as to allow optimal mass transfer. In all these examples, sol–gel chemistry can help shape innovative solutions.

This Special Issue aims to cover recent progress and trends in synthesizing advanced heterogeneous catalysts by sol–gel chemistry routes.

Assoc. Prof. Damien P. Debecker
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • Sol–gel chemistry
  • Evaporation-induced self-assembly
  • Hybrid catalysts
  • Enzyme immobilization
  • Mixed oxides
  • Flow chemistry with heterogeneous catalyst
  • Porous catalysts
  • Monoliths and shaped catalysts
  • Multifunctional catalysts
  • Hierarchical porosity
  • Immobilization of organometallic complexes
  • Xerogel
  • Aerogel
  • Aerosol
  • Non-hydrolytic sol–gel
  • Sacrificial templates and surfactants

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Sol-Gel-Assisted Microwave-Derived Synthesis of Anatase Ag/TiO2/GO Nanohybrids toward Efficient Visible Light Phenol Degradation
Catalysts 2017, 7(5), 133; doi:10.3390/catal7050133
Received: 13 March 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 1 May 2017
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Abstract
Abstract: A simple microwave-assisted (MWI) wet chemical route to synthesize pure anatase phase titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) is reported here using titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) as starting material. The as-prepared TiO2 NPs were characterized by electron microscopy,
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Abstract: A simple microwave-assisted (MWI) wet chemical route to synthesize pure anatase phase titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) is reported here using titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) as starting material. The as-prepared TiO2 NPs were characterized by electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, UV/visible absorption spectroscopy, and infrared and Raman spectroscopic techniques. Further modification of the anatase TiO2 NPs was carried out by incorporating plasmonic silver (Ag) NPs and graphene oxide (GO) in order to enhance the visible light absorption. The photocatalytic activities of the anatase TiO2, Ag/TiO2, and Ag/TiO2/GO nanocomposites were evaluated under both ultraviolet (UV) and visible light irradiation using phenol as a model contaminant. The presence of Ag NPs was found to play a significant role to define the photocatalytic activity of the Ag/TiO2/GO nanocomposite. It was found that the Ag performed like a sink under UV excitation and stored photo-generated electrons from TiO2, whereas, under visible light excitation, the Ag acted as a photosensitizer enhancing the photocatalytic activity of the nanocomposite. The detailed mechanism was studied based on photocatalytic activities of Ag/TiO2/GO nanocomposites. Therefore, the as-prepared Ag/TiO2/GO nanocomposite was used as photocatalytic materials under both UV and visible light irradiation toward degradation of organic molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sol–Gel Chemistry: A Toolbox for Catalyst Preparation)
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Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Enantioselective Transamination in Continuous Flow Mode with Transaminase Immobilized in a Macrocellular Silica Monolith
Catalysts 2017, 7(2), 54; doi:10.3390/catal7020054
Received: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
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Abstract
ω-Transaminases have been immobilized on macrocellular silica monoliths and used as heterogeneous biocatalysts in a continuous flow mode enantioselective transamination reaction. The support was prepared by a sol-gel method based on emulsion templating. The enzyme was immobilized on the structured silica monoliths both
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ω-Transaminases have been immobilized on macrocellular silica monoliths and used as heterogeneous biocatalysts in a continuous flow mode enantioselective transamination reaction. The support was prepared by a sol-gel method based on emulsion templating. The enzyme was immobilized on the structured silica monoliths both by adsorption, and by covalent grafting using amino-functionalized silica monoliths and glutaraldehyde as a coupling agent. A simple reactor set-up based on the use of a heat-shrinkable Teflon tube is presented and successfully used for the continuous flow kinetic resolution of a chiral amine, 4-bromo-α-methylbenzylamine. The porous structure of the supports ensures effective mass transfer and the reactor works in the plug flow regime without preferential flow paths. When immobilized in the monolith and used in the flow reactor, transaminases retain their activity and their enantioselectivity. The solid biocatalyst is also shown to be stable both on stream and during storage. These essential features pave the way to the successful development of an environmentally friendly process for chiral amines production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sol–Gel Chemistry: A Toolbox for Catalyst Preparation)
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Open AccessArticle Cobalt-Doped Carbon Gels as Electro-Catalysts for the Reduction of CO2 to Hydrocarbons
Catalysts 2017, 7(1), 25; doi:10.3390/catal7010025
Received: 26 October 2016 / Revised: 18 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2017 / Published: 12 January 2017
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Abstract
Two original series of carbon gels doped with different cobalt loadings and well-developed mesoporosity, aerogels and xerogels, have been prepared, exhaustively characterized, and tested as cathodes for the electro-catalytic reduction of CO2 to hydrocarbons at atmospheric pressure. Commercial cobalt and graphite sheets
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Two original series of carbon gels doped with different cobalt loadings and well-developed mesoporosity, aerogels and xerogels, have been prepared, exhaustively characterized, and tested as cathodes for the electro-catalytic reduction of CO2 to hydrocarbons at atmospheric pressure. Commercial cobalt and graphite sheets have also been tested as cathodes for comparison. All of the doped carbon gels catalyzed the formation of hydrocarbons, at least from type C1 to C4. The catalytic activity depends mainly on the metal loading, nevertheless, the adsorption of a part of the products in the porous structure of the carbon gel cannot be ruled out. Apparent faradaic efficiencies calculated with these developed materials were better that those obtained with a commercial cobalt sheet as a cathode, especially considering the much lower amount of cobalt contained in the Co-doped carbon gels. The cobalt-carbon phases formed in these types of doped carbon gels improve the selectivity to C3-C4 hydrocarbons formation, obtaining even more C3 hydrocarbons than CH4 in some cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sol–Gel Chemistry: A Toolbox for Catalyst Preparation)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview The Power of Non-Hydrolytic Sol-Gel Chemistry: A Review
Catalysts 2017, 7(6), 168; doi:10.3390/catal7060168
Received: 13 April 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
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Abstract
This review is devoted to non-hydrolytic sol-gel chemistry. During the last 25 years, non-hydrolytic sol-gel (NHSG) techniques were found to be attractive and versatile methods for the preparation of oxide materials. Compared to conventional hydrolytic approaches, the NHSG route allows reaction control at
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This review is devoted to non-hydrolytic sol-gel chemistry. During the last 25 years, non-hydrolytic sol-gel (NHSG) techniques were found to be attractive and versatile methods for the preparation of oxide materials. Compared to conventional hydrolytic approaches, the NHSG route allows reaction control at the atomic scale resulting in homogeneous and well defined products. Due to these features and the ability to design specific materials, the products of NHSG reactions have been used in many fields of application. The aim of this review is to present an overview of NHSG research in recent years with an emphasis on the syntheses of mixed oxides, silicates and phosphates. The first part of the review highlights well known condensation reactions with some deeper insights into their mechanism and also presents novel condensation reactions established in NHSG chemistry in recent years. In the second section we discuss porosity control and novel compositions of selected materials. In the last part, the applications of NHSG derived materials as heterogeneous catalysts and supports, luminescent materials and electrode materials in Li-ion batteries are described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sol–Gel Chemistry: A Toolbox for Catalyst Preparation)
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