A section of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344).
Catalytic materials exist in several forms and can be prepared using various methods involving different schemes and protocols. They can also be applied in many fields, such as environmental and sustainable catalysis, biomass valorization, renewable fuels production, CO2 recycling, synthetic chemistry, gas storage/capture, drug delivery, catalysis, photocatalysis, chemical sensing, and so on.
The present Section on Catalytic Materials aims to advance our understanding of heterogeneous catalysis, offering a comprehensive investigation of physicochemical properties, catalytic application, and the structure–activity relationship.
Among the different catalytic materials investigated in the present Section, it is worth mentioning hybrid materials, which are composites of organic and inorganic constituents that are characterized by peculiar properties due to the synergetic effects of their organic and inorganic components. New efficient and eco-sustainable hybrid materials find application in chemical and enzymatic catalysis, photocatalysis, electrocatalysis, and catalytic transformation to target chemical compounds or key platform molecules.
Another important class of catalytic materials herein investigated is that of hybrid metal-free nanostructures (e.g., POSS organic–inorganic hybrid molecules) which are able to convert CO2 and epoxides into cyclic carbonates that are interesting compounds finding applications as aprotic polar solvents, electrolytes for batteries, sources for reactive polymers synthesis, and precursors for pharmaceuticals.
Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are a class of porous materials with a modular structure for advanced applications, such as adsorption, gas storage/capture, drug delivery, catalysis, photocatalysis, chemical sensing, and so on. A Special Issue of this Section is devoted to such materials.
Among the various catalytic materials herein investigated, we cannot leave out microporous zeolites and nanoporous materials, which are important broth from an academic and from an industrial research point of view, thanks to their unique properties, such as their uniform pores, channel systems, shape selectivity, resistance to coke formation, and thermal and hydrothermal stability. Furthermore, the possibility to tune the amount and strength of Brønsted and Lewis acid sites and the possibility to introduce modifications with transition and noble metals are key to the successful design of efficient, highly-selectivity, and stable systems.
Organofluorine compounds are substances of considerable interest in various industrial fields. Fluorine is now an important element thanks to the unique properties associated with the nature of this atom and its bond to carbon, its high electronegativity, and relatively small size. Due to these attractive properties, organofluorine compounds have been widely used in the design of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, refrigerants, dyes, liquid crystals, optical fibers, and highly-durable polymers. Moreover, due to the increasing need for fluorine-containing molecules in diverse fields of science and technology, selective synthesis of organofluorine compounds constitutes one of the most challenging issues of modern organic chemistry.
Rare earth catalysts are currently widely involved in the field of coordination polymerization, as they can produce high added-value stereoregular polymers or copolymers. In that frame, the design of well-defined ligands in order to tune the activity or selectivity of the polymerization catalysts plays a key role. Rare earth polymerization catalysts were first mainly dominated by metallocene complexes, before the more recent development of non-Cp, post-metallocene systems. The emergence of undercoordinated cationic catalytic species was also a breakthrough in the field, leading to extremely active and selective systems towards olefins and dienes. More recently, in a context of sustainable chemistry, many efforts have been made to develop ring opening polymerization (ROP) catalysts of cyclic esters to produce various biodegradable polymers.
From its first catalytic application in three-way catalysts more than 40 years ago, ceria and ceria derivate oxides have been widely employed in energy conversion and environmental issues. The ever-growing interest in these materials is due to the peculiar redox property of ceria, which can easily be reduced and oxidized without significant changes to its primitive cubic structure. Non-stoichiometry and the reducibility of ceria can be modulated and enhanced through the doping of its lattice, with thermal and redox treatments and with specific synthesis methods leading to nanostructured materials. Moreover, improvements of the oxygen storage capability of ceria may originate from a strong metal/support interaction usually established with noble metal-supported catalysts. The advances of the techniques for characterization and analysis of the defect chemistry of non-stoichiometric oxides and, especially, of ceria-based oxides, make the correlation between the catalytic properties and their defect chemistry possible, making them fundamental in the design of new active materials.
There is still a great deal of controversy over whether CO2 conversion can be considered as a means to massively mitigate CO2. Nonetheless, recent progress in CO2 conversion has shown that the technology has the potential to create new industries in new chemical and energy fields. Catalysis for CO2 conversion has been mainly focused on CO2 hydrogenation and polymer synthesis, as it is shown in the present Section. Innovative routes are also explored to prepare environmentally friendly polymers from CO2. On the other hand, the advances on the electrochemical CO2 reduction deliver persuasive results that the electrochemical CO2 conversion can be commercialized in the near future. Furthermore, enzyme and microbial electro-synthesis is studied to reduce CO2 into valuable products. Several processes using innovative catalysts are also investigated to examine the potential of the commercialization of the CO2 conversion. Recent progress and advances in the field of CO2 conversion are addressed in the present Section, such as: (1) CO2 hydrogenation, (2) monomer and polymer synthesis from CO2, (3) electrochemical CO2 reduction, (4) photoelectrochemical CO2 reduction, and (5) enzyme and microbial electrosynthesis from CO2.
Materials composed of layered silicates, boron nitride, graphene, layered clays, and layered metal oxides, such as layered titanates belonging to the class of two-dimensional (2D) materials, find application in the field of catalysis and photocatalysis and are discussed in the present Section.
In conclusion, regarding all the investigated materials, catalyst performance represents a challenge to date. With respect to the selected catalytic reactions, the papers collected in the present Special Issue aim at understanding catalyst properties and possible reaction pathways through a knowledge-driven approach. The insight into the correlation between catalyst formulation, synthesis route parameters, structural features, and catalytic performance provide the opportunity for the fine-tuning of catalytic materials.
Following special issues within this section are currently open for submissions:
- Novel Catalysts for the Conversion of CO2 to Fuel (Deadline: 30 June 2021)
- Metal-Organic Frameworks and Related Porous Materials for Catalytic Applications and Related Areas (Deadline: 30 June 2021)
- Catalysis with Ordered Porous Materials (Deadline: 30 June 2021)
- CO2 Capture, Utilization and Storage: Catalysts Design (Deadline: 30 June 2021)
- Towards Catalysts Prepared by Cold Plasma (Deadline: 30 June 2021)
- CO and CO2 Conversion over Heterogeneous Catalysts (Deadline: 30 June 2021)
- Homogeneous Catalysis with Earth-Abundant Metal Complexes (Deadline: 30 June 2021)
- Advances in Transition Metal Catalyzed Cross-Coupling (Deadline: 15 July 2021)
- Spectroscopic and Synthesis Methods Applied in Catalysis (Deadline: 31 July 2021)
- Growth of Catalyst-Free InN Nanocolumns (Deadline: 31 July 2021)
- Advances in Zeolite Catalysts (Deadline: 31 July 2021)
- Catalytic and Electrocatalytic Applications of Nanomaterials (Deadline: 31 July 2021)
- Catalysis on Zeolites and Zeolite-Like Materials (Deadline: 31 July 2021)
- Applications of Nanoporous Materials in Catalysis (Deadline: 31 July 2021)
- Metal Dispersed on Porous Supports as Catalysts for Methane-Related Reactions (Deadline: 31 July 2021)
- Application of TiO2 Nanotube in Electrocatalysis/Photocatalysis (Deadline: 31 July 2021)
- State-of-the-Art Catalytic Materials in Europe (Deadline: 31 July 2021)
- Nano-Porous Materials for Catalytic Systems in Green Chemistry Processes (Deadline: 15 August 2021)
- Nanoporous and Layered Materials in (Photo)(Bio)Catalysis (Deadline: 15 August 2021)
- Towards the Transition Metal Catalysis in Organic Synthesis (Deadline: 20 August 2021)
- Single-Atom Catalysts Seeking Practical Application: Achievements and Challenges (Deadline: 31 August 2021)
- Progress in Metal-Organic Framework Catalysis (Deadline: 31 August 2021)
- Heterogeneous Catalysts and Reactors—The Shift toward Integration and Co-Development (Deadline: 31 August 2021)
- Application of Graphene-Based Materials in Nanocatalysis (Deadline: 31 August 2021)
- Ni-Based Catalysts: Synthesis and Applications (Deadline: 31 August 2021)
- Advances on Catalysts Based on Copper (Deadline: 31 August 2021)
- Development of Intermetallic Compounds as Catalysts (Deadline: 30 September 2021)
- Surface Design of Metal Oxide Catalysts (Deadline: 30 September 2021)
- Porous Materials: Design, Synthesis and Advanced Catalytic Applications (Deadline: 30 September 2021)
- Synthesis and Application of Metal Mixed Oxide Catalysts (MMOs Catalysts) (Deadline: 30 September 2021)
- Emergent Materials and Strategies for Catalytic Glycerol Transformation with Low Energy Input (Deadline: 30 September 2021)
- Catalysts with Bioinorganic Metal Centres (Deadline: 30 September 2021)
- Mesoporous Silica and Carbon based Catalysts (Deadline: 30 September 2021)
- Heterogeneous Catalyst for the Microwave-Assisted Oxidation Reactions (Deadline: 30 September 2021)
- Layered Double Hydroxide-Based Catalytic Materials for Sustainable Processes (Deadline: 30 September 2021)
- Palladium-Catalyzed Reactions: Chapter II (Deadline: 10 October 2021)
- Catalytic Carbonylation Reactions (Deadline: 10 October 2021)
- Gold, Silver and Copper Catalysis (Deadline: 10 October 2021)
- Synthesis and Catalytic Properties Evaluation of Well-Ordered Micro and Nanomaterials (Deadline: 10 October 2021)
- Engineering Materials for Catalysis (Deadline: 20 October 2021)
- Catalytic Applications of Porous Organic Materials (Covalent Organic Frameworks, Porous Organic Polymers and Related Materials) (Deadline: 20 October 2021)
- New Trends in Carbon-Based Catalysts (Deadline: 20 October 2021)
- Recent Advances in Nickel-Based Catalysts (Deadline: 31 October 2021)
- Advances in Catalytic Surface Reactions, Kinetics and Mechanism (Deadline: 31 October 2021)
- Carbon- and Metal-Based Nanostructured Materials for Energy and Environmental Applications (Deadline: 31 October 2021)
- Spectroscopic Analysis Involved in Catalyst Characterization (Deadline: 31 October 2021)
- Metal Modified and Acidic Mesoporous Catalytic Materials for Valorization of Lignocellulosic Biomass, Synthesis of Speciality, Fine Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals (Deadline: 31 October 2021)
- New Trends in Efficient Brønsted/Lewis Acid Catalysts for Biomass Conversion (Deadline: 31 October 2021)
- Porous Materials: Active Phases or Supports in Heterogeneous Catalysis (Deadline: 10 November 2021)
- Non-critical Element- and Non-critical Loading of Critical Element-Based Catalysts for Environmentally Friendly Catalytic Processes (Deadline: 10 November 2021)
- Catalysts by Metal Organic Frameworks (Deadline: 10 November 2021)
- Metal-Support Interactions for Advanced Catalysis (Deadline: 10 November 2021)
- Effect of the Modification of Catalysts on the Catalytic Performance (Deadline: 15 November 2021)
- New Horizons for Heterogeneous Catalysts (Deadline: 15 November 2021)
- Transition Metal Vanadate-, Molybdate-, and Tungstate-Based Catalysts for Photo-/Electro-Chemical Application (Deadline: 20 November 2021)
- The Importance of Shape-Tailoring at Nano- and Micro-Levels in Catalytic and Photocatalytic Applications (Deadline: 20 November 2021)
- Catalysts Based on Mesoporous Materials for Environmental Application (Deadline: 20 November 2021)
- Metal-Organic Framework Catalysts (Deadline: 30 November 2021)
- Catalytic Chemistry of Homogeneous Platinum Group Metal Complexes (Deadline: 30 November 2021)
- New Trends in Catalysis for Light Olefin Production (Deadline: 30 November 2021)
- Metal Nanoparticles as Effective Catalysts (Deadline: 30 November 2021)
- Iron in Catalysis (Deadline: 15 December 2021)
- Catalytical Processes in Presence of 2D Nanomaterials (Deadline: 30 December 2021)
- Contemporary Solutions for Advanced Catalytic Materials with a High Impact on Society (Deadline: 31 December 2021)
- Advanced Catalytic and Electro-Optical Applications of Functional Materials: In Silico Design and Synthesis (Deadline: 31 December 2021)
- Recent Advances in Catalytic Materials toward Renewable Energy and the Removal of Environmental Pollutants (Deadline: 31 December 2021)
- Recent Progress in Development of Hydrogenation and Dehydrogenation Catalysts (Deadline: 31 December 2021)
- Catalysts in Carbon-Based Energy Materials: Experimental and Computational Aspects (Deadline: 31 December 2021)
- Catalysis for CO2 Conversion (Deadline: 31 December 2021)
- New Advances in Self-Catalysis Technology (Deadline: 31 December 2021)
- Structured Materials for Catalytic Applications (Deadline: 31 December 2021)
- New Research Trends in Rare Earth Oxide-Based Catalysts (Deadline: 31 December 2021)
- Photo- and Electro-Catalysis of Nanomaterials for Energy Conversion and Storage (Deadline: 31 December 2021)
- Advanced Nanomaterials for a Green World (Deadline: 31 December 2021)
- New Trends in Phillips and Other Catalysts for Ethylene Polymerization (Deadline: 31 December 2021)
- Nanomaterials in Catalysis Applications (Deadline: 31 December 2021)
- Recent Advances in Ionic Liquids and Deep Eutectic Solvents for Task-Specific Catalysts (Deadline: 31 December 2021)
- Catalytic Oxidation of Hydrocarbons (Deadline: 20 January 2022)
- From Design to Application of Nanomaterials in Catalysis (Deadline: 31 January 2022)
- Catalysis by Design: Advances and Challenges in Electrochemical CO2 Reduction (Deadline: 31 January 2022)
- Advances in X-ray Spectroscopy Applications in Coordination Polymers and Inorganic Compounds (Deadline: 31 January 2022)
- Catalytic Activity of Metal Oxides Supported Catalysts in Dry Reforming Process (Deadline: 31 January 2022)
- Organic and Hybrid Energy Materials: Photo-Electrocatalytic Applications (Deadline: 31 January 2022)
- Organometallic Homogeneous Catalysis (Deadline: 31 January 2022)
- Ionic Liquids for Green Catalysis and Separation (Deadline: 20 February 2022)
- Current State-of-the-Art of Catalysts for Energy and Environmental Applications (Deadline: 28 February 2022)
- Design and Application of Metal-Organic Framework-Based/-Derived Catalysts (Deadline: 28 February 2022)
- Advanced Functional Materials for Photo(electro)catalytic Environmental, Energy and CO2 Reduction into Soar Fuels (Deadline: 28 February 2022)
- Catalytic Decomposition of Hydroxylammonium Nitrate (HAN)-Based Propellants (Deadline: 31 March 2022)
- Recent Trends in Electrocatalysis and Photocatalysis of Nanostructured Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion (Deadline: 31 March 2022)
- Advanced Oxidation Treatment of Refractory Polluted Wastewaters (Deadline: 15 April 2022)
- Application of Catalysis-Free and Catalysis in One/Two Dimensional (1D/2D) Nanostructured Materials (Deadline: 15 April 2022)