Advanced Catalysis for Green Fuel Synthesis and Energy Conversion

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344). This special issue belongs to the section "Catalysis for Sustainable Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 17337

Special Issue Editors

Chemistry Division, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA
Interests: heterogenous catalysts; CO2 conversion; methane activation; in situ characterizations; methanol synthesis

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Guest Editor
Institute of Industrial Catalysis, State Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry Synthesis Technology, College of Chemical Engineering, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310014, China
Interests: heterogenous catalysts; CO2 conversion; hydrogen production; in situ characterizations; methanol synthesis
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The considerable growth in energy demands and limited fossil fuel resources together with environmental concerns are major threats to the sustainable development of human beings. The utilization of green energy resources is considered to be a promising solution to this challenge. Catalysis plays a central role in the clean energy production and processing processes. Advances in low-cost, efficient, and eco-friendly catalysts are regarded as being more important than ever.

This Special Issue, entitled “Advanced Catalysis for Green Fuel Synthesis and Energy Conversion”, will mainly comprise research on progress that has been made in the state of the art of new nanoscale functional materials and aims to provide an in-depth understanding of advanced catalysis for green fuel synthesis and next-generation energy conversion applications. All studies (experimental and theoretical) within the scope of this Special Issue, including original research and review articles, short communications, and perspective articles, are invited for submission. Topics include but are not limited to the following potential topics:

  • Green fuel synthesis;
  • Energy conversion reactions;
  • Battery and fuel cells;
  • Photo- and/or electrocatalysis;
  • New materials for catalytic applications;
  • Characterization techniques for studying the catalyst;
  • CO2, CH4, and biomass conversion;
  • Hydrogen production.

Dr. Ning Rui
Prof. Dr. Lili Lin
Guest Editors

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 2700 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

  • green fuels
  • electrocatalyst
  • photocatalysts
  • heterogeneous catalysts
  • surface chemistry
  • energy materials
  • theoretical study

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Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 2867 KiB  
Article
Effect of Re Addition on the Water–Gas Shift Activity of Ni Catalyst Supported by Mixed Oxide Materials for H2 Production
by Jessica Gina Lomonaco, Thanathon Sesuk, Sumittra Charojrochkul and Pannipa Tepamatr
Catalysts 2023, 13(6), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal13060959 - 01 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1151
Abstract
Water–gas shift (WGS) reaction was performed over 5% Ni/CeO2, 5% Ni/Ce-5% Sm-O, 5% Ni/Ce-5% Gd-O, 1% Re 4% Ni/Ce-5% Sm-O and 1% Re 4% Ni/Ce-5% Gd-O catalysts to reduce CO concentration and produce extra hydrogen. CeO2 and M-doped ceria (M [...] Read more.
Water–gas shift (WGS) reaction was performed over 5% Ni/CeO2, 5% Ni/Ce-5% Sm-O, 5% Ni/Ce-5% Gd-O, 1% Re 4% Ni/Ce-5% Sm-O and 1% Re 4% Ni/Ce-5% Gd-O catalysts to reduce CO concentration and produce extra hydrogen. CeO2 and M-doped ceria (M = Sm and Gd) were prepared using a combustion method, and then nickel and rhenium were added onto the mixed oxide supports using an impregnation method. The influence of rhenium, samarium and gadolinium on the structural and redox properties of materials that have an effect on their water–gas shift activities was investigated. It was found that the addition of samarium and gadolinium into Ni/CeO2 enhances the surface area, reduces the crystallite size of CeO2, increases oxygen vacancy concentration and improves Ni dispersion on the CeO2 surface. Moreover, the addition of rhenium leads to an increase in the WGS activity of Ni/CeMO (M = Sm and Gd) catalysts. The results indicate that 1% Re 4% Ni/Ce-5% Sm-O presents the greatest WGS activity, with the maximum of 97% carbon monoxide conversion at 350 °C. An increase in the dispersion and surface area of metallic nickel in this catalyst results in the facilitation of the reactant CO adsorption. The result of X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) analysis suggests that Sm and Re in 1% Re 4% Ni/Ce-5% Sm-O catalyst donate some electrons to CeO2, resulting in a decrease in the oxidation state of cerium. The occurrence of more Ce3+ at the CeO2 surface leads to higher oxygen vacancy, which alerts the redox process at the surface, thereby increasing the efficiency of the WGS reaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Catalysis for Green Fuel Synthesis and Energy Conversion)
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14 pages, 2370 KiB  
Article
Effects of ZSM-5 Morphology and Fe Promoter for Dimethyl Ether Conversion to Gasoline-Range Hydrocarbons
by Mansoor Ali, Jong Jin Kim, Faisal Zafar, Dongming Shen, Xu Wang and Jong Wook Bae
Catalysts 2023, 13(5), 910; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal13050910 - 21 May 2023
Viewed by 1476
Abstract
The synthesis of gasoline-range hydrocarbons by gas-phase dimethyl ether (DME) conversion was investigated on various ZSM-5 zeolites with different morphologies and Fe contents. The different morphologies of ZSM-5 significantly altered the distributions of the acidic sites, which showed different selectivities to gasoline-range hydrocarbons. [...] Read more.
The synthesis of gasoline-range hydrocarbons by gas-phase dimethyl ether (DME) conversion was investigated on various ZSM-5 zeolites with different morphologies and Fe contents. The different morphologies of ZSM-5 significantly altered the distributions of the acidic sites, which showed different selectivities to gasoline-range hydrocarbons. Nanostructured ZSM-5 (N-ZSM-5) revealed the highest C5+ selectivity of 41.7% with an aromatics selectivity of 23.6% at ~100% DME conversion. The superior catalytic activity of N-ZSM-5 was attributed to the largest strong Brønsted acidic sites and smaller crystallite sizes, which were beneficial for the faster removal rate of heavy hydrocarbons due to its shorter diffusion pathlength compared to conventional ZSM-5 (C-ZSM-5). In addition, 10 wt% Fe-impregnated N-ZSM-5 revealed an enhanced C5+ selectivity of 60.6% with a smaller C1–C4 selectivity of 21.9%, which were attributed to the adjusted acidic sites by suppressing the cracking reactions of the surface intermediates, which are responsible for the selective formation of smaller light hydrocarbons. However, the excess amount of Fe on N-ZSM-5 showed a lower DME conversion of 83.5% with a lower C5+ selectivity of 38.5% due to the blockages of the active acidic sites. Nanostructured N-ZSM-5 possessing a larger amount of strong Brønsted acid sites with 10 wt% Fe modification clearly showed a higher formation rate of gasoline-range hydrocarbons due to an enhanced secondary oligomerization of surface intermediates to form heavier aromatic hydrocarbons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Catalysis for Green Fuel Synthesis and Energy Conversion)
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14 pages, 3727 KiB  
Article
Solvent-Free Aldol Condensation of Cyclopentanone with Natural Clay-Based Catalysts: Origin of Activity & Selectivity
by Xianglong Meng, Hui Su, Ranran Song, Jianzheng Su and Junjie Bian
Catalysts 2023, 13(3), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal13030530 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2122
Abstract
The conversion of biomass resources into high-value fuels and chemicals using thermochemical methods has become an attractive method of energy utilization. In this study, natural minerals were used as raw materials; the acidic sites were introduced by ball-milling modification, and the aldol condensation [...] Read more.
The conversion of biomass resources into high-value fuels and chemicals using thermochemical methods has become an attractive method of energy utilization. In this study, natural minerals were used as raw materials; the acidic sites were introduced by ball-milling modification, and the aldol condensation reaction of the biomass-based cyclopentanone molecule was carried out under solvent-free conditions. It was found that the SO3H-APG catalyst—with strong medium-based sites when the -SO3H loading was 4 mmol/g—exhibited excellent acid–base co-activation effects and a significant catalytic effect in the cyclopentanone condensation reaction. The optimization of the reaction conditions showed that the conversion of cyclopentanone reached 85.53% at the reaction temperature of 150 °C and reaction time of 4 h. The selectivity of the dimer and trimer was 69.04% and 28.41%, respectively. The investigation of the cyclopentanone condensation mechanism and kinetic analysis showed that the acid–base presence of an acid–base bifunctional catalyst was important to facilitate the condensation reaction. This research route is in line with the concept of sustainable green production and also provides a promising pathway for catalyst design and the synthesis of long-chain hydrocarbons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Catalysis for Green Fuel Synthesis and Energy Conversion)
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15 pages, 4380 KiB  
Article
Cobalt Catalyzed Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis with O2-Containing Syngas
by Alexander Herbers, Christoph Kern and Andreas Jess
Catalysts 2023, 13(2), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal13020391 - 10 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1555
Abstract
Provision of sustainable transportation fuels is required for the energetic transition. A new process is presented for the production of synthetic sulfur free maritime fuel. This fuel is produced by Co-catalyzed Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) using syngas based on a plasma technology that contains [...] Read more.
Provision of sustainable transportation fuels is required for the energetic transition. A new process is presented for the production of synthetic sulfur free maritime fuel. This fuel is produced by Co-catalyzed Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) using syngas based on a plasma technology that contains traces of O2. Gravimetric experiments and steady state measurements with a Co/Pt/Al2O3 catalyst at low temperature FTS conditions (10–30 bar, 180–230 °C) show that, with H2 present in the system, the catalyst remains active for FTS, and shows no influence on the distribution of C2+-hydrocarbons. O2 is only converted to H2O and CO2 in varying proportions (H2O: 70–80%, CO2: 20–30%), whereby a higher CO concentration increases the CO2 selectivity. This work may wield a new CO2 source for carbon-neutral fuels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Catalysis for Green Fuel Synthesis and Energy Conversion)
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13 pages, 5939 KiB  
Article
Construction of Multi-Defective ZnMn2O4/Carbon Nitride Three-Dimensional System for Highly Efficient Photocatalytic Sulfamethoxazole Degradation
by Yandong Xu, Jianjun Liao, Linlin Zhang, Yakun Li and Chengjun Ge
Catalysts 2023, 13(1), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal13010172 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1292
Abstract
Rational design of composite nanostructured photocatalytic systems with good sunlight absorption capacity and efficient charge separation and transfer ability is an urgent problem to be solved in photocatalysis research. Here, a ZnMn2O4 decorated three-dimensional carbon nitride with O, C co-doping, [...] Read more.
Rational design of composite nanostructured photocatalytic systems with good sunlight absorption capacity and efficient charge separation and transfer ability is an urgent problem to be solved in photocatalysis research. Here, a ZnMn2O4 decorated three-dimensional carbon nitride with O, C co-doping, and nitrogen defect composite photocatalytic system was prepared using a simple hydrothermal method and subsequent calcination method. For the photocatalytic reactions, the presence of heterostructures, C, O co-doping, and nitrogen defects greatly promotes the separation and transfer of charges at the semiconductor/semiconductor interface under the local electric field, thereby extending its service life. The photocatalytic degradation efficiency of sulfamethoxazole in water is as high as 94.3% under the synergistic effects, which is also suitable for the complex water environment. In addition, the synthesized photocatalyst has good chemical stability and recyclability. This study provides a new opportunity to solve the problem of environmental pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Catalysis for Green Fuel Synthesis and Energy Conversion)
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21 pages, 3378 KiB  
Article
Kinetic, Thermodynamic, and Mechanistic Studies on the Effect of the Preparation Method on the Catalytic Activity of Synthetic Zeolite-A during the Transesterification of Waste Cooking Oil
by Mohamed Adel Sayed, Sayed A. Ahmed, Sarah I. Othman, Ahmed A. Allam, Wail Al Zoubi, Jamaan S. Ajarem, Mostafa R. Abukhadra and Stefano Bellucci
Catalysts 2023, 13(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal13010030 - 24 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1693
Abstract
Egyptian kaolinite was applied in the synthesis of zeolite-A by conventional hydrothermal and alkali fusion methods, resulting in two forms of zeolite-A: the hydrated phase (H.ZA) and the dehydrated phase (DH.ZA). The DH.ZA phase exhibits an enhanced surface area (488 m2/g), [...] Read more.
Egyptian kaolinite was applied in the synthesis of zeolite-A by conventional hydrothermal and alkali fusion methods, resulting in two forms of zeolite-A: the hydrated phase (H.ZA) and the dehydrated phase (DH.ZA). The DH.ZA phase exhibits an enhanced surface area (488 m2/g), total basicity (7.73 mmol OH/g), high sodium content (20.2%), and a narrow particle size distribution (5 to 25 µm) as compared to the H.ZA phase (423 m2/g surface area, 5.88 mmol OH/g total basicity, 13.3% sodium content, and 10 to 45 µm particle size distribution). DH.ZA exhibits enhanced catalytic activity, achieving a biodiesel yield of 96.8% after 60 min at 60 °C, while the application of H.ZA resulted in a 95.8% yield after 120 min at 80 °C. The controlled transesterification mechanism in the presence of H.ZA and DH.ZA involved robust base-catalyzed reactions. The reactions follow the pseudo-first-order kinetics, and the rate constants (Kc) were determined at three different temperature values (40, 50 and 60 °C). The activation energies using H.ZA (35.9 kJ·mol−1) and DH.ZA (32.714 kJ·mol−1) demonstrates their efficiencies in mild conditions. The thermodynamic parameters of enthalpy (33.23 kJ·mol−1 (H.ZA) and 30.03 kJ·mol−1 (DH.ZA)), Gibb’s free energy (65.164 kJ·mol−1 (H.ZA) and 65.268 kJ·mol−1 (DH.ZA)), and entropy (−195.59 J·K−1·mol−1 (H.ZA) and −195.91 J·K−1·mol−1 (DH.ZA)) demonstrate the spontaneous and endothermic behaviours of these reactions. The obtained biodiesel matches the physical properties of the international standards, and the recyclability properties of the two zeolite phases demonstrate their suitability for commercial-scale applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Catalysis for Green Fuel Synthesis and Energy Conversion)
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11 pages, 3801 KiB  
Article
Deactivation and Regeneration of Palladium Catalysts for Hydrogenation Debenzylation of 2,4,6,8,10,12-Hexabenzyl-2,4,6,8,10,12-Hexaazaisowurtzitane (HBIW)
by Qunfeng Zhang, Mei Wang, Jiacheng Qian, Shuyuan Lou, Jianhong Jin, Bingcheng Li, Chunshan Lu, Feng Feng, Jinghui Lv, Qingtao Wang and Xiaonian Li
Catalysts 2022, 12(12), 1547; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal12121547 - 01 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2202
Abstract
2,4,6,8,10,12-hexanitro-2,4,6,8,10,12-hexaazaisowurtzitane (HNIW, also known as CL-20) is an important energetic compound. As one of the representatives of the third generation of energetic materials, it has an excellent performance, providing broad application prospects for the development of new weapons and equipment. The synthesis of [...] Read more.
2,4,6,8,10,12-hexanitro-2,4,6,8,10,12-hexaazaisowurtzitane (HNIW, also known as CL-20) is an important energetic compound. As one of the representatives of the third generation of energetic materials, it has an excellent performance, providing broad application prospects for the development of new weapons and equipment. The synthesis of CL-20 is usually obtained from 2,4,6,8,10,12-hexabenzyl-2,4,6,8,10,12-hexaazaisowurtzitane (HBIW) through two catalytic hydrogenolysis and debenzylation reactions, followed by nitration. The most critical step is the hydrogenolysis debenzyl-acetylation process of HBIW because this process requires a large amount of expensive palladium-based catalyst, and the catalyst is completely deactivated after one use. In response to this problem, there is no suitable solution at present, resulting in the high cost of the entire synthesis process. Therefore, reducing the production cost of CL-20 by increasing the catalyst stability is one of the current research priorities. By using AAS, XRD, XPS, TEM, BET, TG and other characterization techniques, the reasons for catalyst deactivation were explored. Studies have shown that the main reason for catalyst deactivation is that a large number of blockages accumulate in the pores of the catalyst after the reaction, which greatly weakens the transfer of the reactant HBIW, intermediate substances, and product 2,6,8,12-tetraacetyl-4,10-dibenzyl-2,4,6,8,10,12-hexaazaisowurtzitane (TADBIW) in the catalyst pores, and the blockage may block the active site of the catalyst. A regeneration treatment method for catalyst deactivation was developed. This method uses chloroform and glacial acetic acid as reagents, which, when combined with stirring and ultrasonic operation, finally restores the activity of the Pd(OH)2/C catalyst. The BET and TG parameters of the regenerated catalyst indicate that catalyst textural and structural properties have greatly recovered, indicating that this treatment method can remove the blockages in the catalyst pores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Catalysis for Green Fuel Synthesis and Energy Conversion)
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15 pages, 2164 KiB  
Article
Methane-Assisted Iron Oxides Chemical Looping in a Solar Concentrator: A Real Case Study
by Luca Borghero, Maurizio Bressan, Domenico Ferrero, Massimo Santarelli and Davide Papurello
Catalysts 2022, 12(11), 1477; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal12111477 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
Recent interest in hydrogen as an alternative fuel for lowering carbon emissions is funding the exploration of new ways to cleanly produce this molecule. Iron oxides can be used within a process of chemical looping. More specifically, they can lose oxygens at extremely [...] Read more.
Recent interest in hydrogen as an alternative fuel for lowering carbon emissions is funding the exploration of new ways to cleanly produce this molecule. Iron oxides can be used within a process of chemical looping. More specifically, they can lose oxygens at extremely high temperature in an inert atmosphere. An alumina receiver could not stand the extreme thermal stress, while steel (AISI 316 and Inconel Hastelloy c-276) lasted enough for the reaction to start, even if at the end of the process the receiver melted. Operating at a temperature above 1000 K helped the reaction switch from methane chemical looping combustion to chemical looping reforming, thus favouring H2 and CO yields. The gas flow outlet from the reactor reached a percentage up to 45% of H2 and 10% of CO. Carbon dioxide instead reached very low concentrations. While CO and CO2 reached a peak at the beginning of the experiment and then decreased, H2 was oscillating around a stable value. Unreacted methane was detected. The temperatures recorded in the reactor and the gas mixture obtained were used to validate a multiphysical model. The heat transfer and the chemistry of the experiment were simulated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Catalysis for Green Fuel Synthesis and Energy Conversion)
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9 pages, 1484 KiB  
Article
Low-Pt-Based Sn Alloy for the Dehydrogenation of Methylcyclohexane to Toluene: A Density Functional Theory Study
by Kingsley Onyebuchi Obodo, Cecil Naphtaly Moro Ouma and Dmitri Bessarabov
Catalysts 2022, 12(10), 1221; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal12101221 - 12 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1918
Abstract
Spin-polarized van der Waals corrected density functional theory calculations were applied to Sn–Pt alloys with Pt content ≤ 50% (referred to as low Pt alloys) to evaluate their catalytic activity towards the dehydrogenation of methylcyclohexane (MCH), with the formation of toluene as product. [...] Read more.
Spin-polarized van der Waals corrected density functional theory calculations were applied to Sn–Pt alloys with Pt content ≤ 50% (referred to as low Pt alloys) to evaluate their catalytic activity towards the dehydrogenation of methylcyclohexane (MCH), with the formation of toluene as product. The calculated adsorption energies of MCH, its intermediates and toluene showed that these molecules bind on the considered Sn–Pt alloys. Sn–Pt alloys had the lowest dehydrogenation energetics, indicating that the activity of this catalytic material is superior to that of a pristine Pt catalyst. Desorption of the intermediate species was feasible for all Sn–Pt alloy configurations considered. The catalytic dehydrogenation reaction energetics for the various Sn–Pt alloy configurations were more favourable than that achieved with pristine Pt surfaces. The current study should motivate experimental realization of Sn–Pt alloys for the catalytic dehydrogenation reaction of MCH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Catalysis for Green Fuel Synthesis and Energy Conversion)
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19 pages, 3930 KiB  
Article
Efficacy of the Immobilized Kocuria flava Lipase on Fe3O4/Cellulose Nanocomposite for Biodiesel Production from Cooking Oil Wastes
by Azhar A. Najjar, Elhagag A. Hassan, Nidal M. Zabermawi, Saad B. Almasaudi, Mohammed Moulay, Steve Harakeh and Mohamed Abd El-Aal
Catalysts 2022, 12(9), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal12090977 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1819
Abstract
The increasing global demand for petroleum oils has led to a significant increase in their cost and has led to the search for renewable alternative waste resources for biodiesel synthesis and production using novel environmentally sound and acceptable methods. In the current study, [...] Read more.
The increasing global demand for petroleum oils has led to a significant increase in their cost and has led to the search for renewable alternative waste resources for biodiesel synthesis and production using novel environmentally sound and acceptable methods. In the current study, Kocuria flava lipase was immobilized on Fe3O4/cellulose nanocomposite; and used as a biocatalyst for the conversion of cooking oil wastes into biodiesel through the transesterification/esterification process. The characterization of Fe3O4/cellulose nanocomposite revealed several functional groups including carboxyl (C=O) and epoxy (C-O-C) groups that act as multipoint covalent binding sites between the lipase and the Fe3O4/cellulose nanocomposite and consequently increasing lipase immobility and stability. The immobilized lipase showed a high thermo-stability as it retained about 70% of its activity at 80 °C after 30 min. The kinetics of immobilized lipase revealed that the Km and Vmax values were 0.02 mM and 32.47 U/mg protein, respectively. Moreover, the immobilized lipase showed high stability and reusability for transesterification/esterification reactions for up to four cycles with a slight decline in the enzyme activity. Furthermore, the produced biodiesel characteristics were compatible with the standards, indicating that the biodiesel obtained is doable and may be utilized in our daily life as a diesel fuel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Catalysis for Green Fuel Synthesis and Energy Conversion)
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