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Open AccessArticle

Life Cycle Assessment of the Sustainability of Enhancing the Photodegradation Activity of TiO2 with Metal-Doping

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Chemistry Research Unit (CIQUP), Faculty of Sciences of University of Porto, R. Campo Alegre 697, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
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LACOMEPHI, GreenUPorto, Department of Geosciences, Environmental and Territorial Planning, Faculty of Sciences of University of Porto, R. Campo Alegre 697, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2020, 13(7), 1487; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13071487
Received: 10 March 2020 / Revised: 20 March 2020 / Accepted: 24 March 2020 / Published: 25 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Luminescent Engineered Nanomaterials)
While TiO2 nanoparticles have shown potential as photocatalysts in the degradation of organic contaminants, their inability to absorb efficiently visible light has limited their industrial application. One strategy for solving this problem is monodoping TiO2 photocatalysts with transition metals, which has worked in the degradation of several pollutants. However, it is not clear if this improvement is enough to offset the potential environmental impacts of adding metal ions to the synthesis of TiO2. Herein, we have used Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to determine the sustainability of monodoping TiO2 with transition metals (Fe, Co, Mn and Ni, with a 1% weight ratio) to enhance the photocatalytic properties of the photocatalyst toward the degradation of Carbamazepine and Methyl Orange, under UV-A and visible light irradiation. We found that the addition of transition-metals has no significant effect on the environmental impacts associated with the synthesis of TiO2, when a weight-based functional unit was considered. However, when photocatalytic activity was considered, major differences were found. Thus, our results demonstrate that the sustainability of monodoping with different transition metals is solely determined by their ability to enhance (or not) the photocatalytic activity of TiO2. Our data also demonstrated that isopropyl alcohol constitutes a critical point in the synthesis of TiO2 photocatalysts, with ethanol being a potential substitute. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment; TiO2 photocatalysts; photodegradation; metal-doping; engineered nanomaterials life cycle assessment; TiO2 photocatalysts; photodegradation; metal-doping; engineered nanomaterials
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Fernandes, S.; Esteves da Silva, J.C.; Pinto da Silva, L. Life Cycle Assessment of the Sustainability of Enhancing the Photodegradation Activity of TiO2 with Metal-Doping. Materials 2020, 13, 1487.

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