Applications and New Trends in Catalysts and Photocatalytic Nanomaterials for Environmental Remediation

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344). This special issue belongs to the section "Nanostructured Catalysts".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2024) | Viewed by 11098

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Guest Editor
Graduate Programs in Environmental Applied Science and Management, and School of Occupational and Public Health, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
Interests: advanced treatment of water and wastewater; waste minimization and water reuse; integration of advanced oxidation technologies and biological processes for industrial wastewater treatment; water, soil, and air quality; energy and resource recovery
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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, Toronto Metropolitan University (Formerly Ryerson University), 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
Interests: photochemical reaction engineering, including photocatalysis, UV/hydrogen peroxide, fenton/photo-fenton, etc.; integration of advanced oxidation technologies and biological processes for wastewater treatment; effects of climate change on the quality and quantity of groundwater
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cartagena, Calle 30 # 48 -152, Cartagena, Colombia
Interests: biomass catalysis; biofuels; heavy metals removal; environmental toxicology; microalgae and nematodes as bioindicators, phytoremediation; biochar adsorption; bionanocomposites

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Guest Editor
Escuela de Ingeniería Química, Universidad del Valle, 760032 Cali, Colombia
Interests: development of new processes and materials with applications in the environment, energy and health; applications of advanced oxidation processes (photocatalysis, ozone, electro-oxidation) for the treatment and re-use of wastewater by modeling, simulation, and new reactors design for improved the AOPs efficiency; the synthesis of new materials by means of electrochemistry and solid state chemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmental remediation is associated with the management and removal of pollution in water resources, air quality intervention, waste minimization, and soil decontamination. The need for remedial action is becoming increasingly demanding, while catalysts and photocatalytic nanomaterials have the potential for procuring effective strategies in the management, treatment, and reuse of water, soil decontamination, and waste repurposing.

This Special Issue of Catalysts will cover the recent advancements in catalyst development, photocatalytic nanomaterials, environmental remediation applications, reaction mechanisms, and modeling process for water and soil decontamination. The Guest Editors encourage submissions in the following areas:

  • Development of catalysts and photocatalytic nanomaterials
  • Disinfection and decontamination via advanced oxidation process (photocatalysis, Ozone, UV, H2O2 and electrochemical based process)
  • Life cycle assessment in catalysis applications
  • Photocatalysis and advanced oxidation process in air quality intervention
  • Photocatalytic based process degradation of emerging contaminants
  • Process optimization and and modeling of catalytic systems for environmental remediation
  • Waste recycling and repurposing via catalysis

Dr. Ciro Bustillo-Lecompte
Prof. Dr. Mehrab Mehrvar
Dr. Lesly Tejeda-Benitez
Prof. Dr. Fiderman Machuca-Martínez
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 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

  • nanomaterials
  • catalytic processes
  • degradation
  • disinfection
  • nanocomposites
  • air quality
  • wastewater treatment
  • emerging contaminants
  • photocatalysis
  • environmental remediation
  • advanced oxidation processes

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 5349 KiB  
Article
In Situ Growth of Ti3C2/UiO-66-NH2 Composites for Photoreduction of Cr(VI)
by Huan He, Xusheng Wang, Qin Yu, Wenbin Wu, Xinya Feng, Deyu Kong, Xiaohui Ren and Junkuo Gao
Catalysts 2023, 13(5), 876; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal13050876 - 12 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1773
Abstract
Cr(VI) is one of the most toxic heavy metals, posing multiple threats to humans and ecosystems. Photoreduction of toxic Cr(VI) to para-toxic Cr(III) is one of the most effective ways to remove heavy metal chromium but is still challenging. Herein, Ti3C [...] Read more.
Cr(VI) is one of the most toxic heavy metals, posing multiple threats to humans and ecosystems. Photoreduction of toxic Cr(VI) to para-toxic Cr(III) is one of the most effective ways to remove heavy metal chromium but is still challenging. Herein, Ti3C2/UiO-66-NH2 composites with different ratio of Ti3C2 were synthesized via an in situ solvothermal process and used for the enhanced photocatalytic removal of Cr(VI) for the first time. The UiO-66-NH2 nanoparticles were dispersed on the surface and slits of accordion-like Ti3C2 homogeneously. A strong interfacial interaction between Ti3C2 and UiO-66-NH2 was formed, which was indicated by the XPS. The Fermi level of the MXene cocatalyst is lower than UiO-66-NH2; thus, Ti3C2 can serve as the electron sink and accumulate photogenerated electrons from UiO-66-NH2 on its surface. A depletion layer was also formed due to the different Fermi levels of UiO-66-NH2 and Ti3C2, which prevents electrons from flowing back to UiO-66-NH. The strong interfacial interaction and formed depletion layer are beneficial for the following charge transfer from UiO-66-NH2 to Ti3C2 after light irradiation and for suppressing the photogenerated charge recombination. With suitable band positions and enhanced charge separation ability, Ti3C2/UiO-66-NH2 composites exhibited better photoreduction efficiency of Cr2O72− than pure Ti3C2 and UiO-66-NH2, with optimized samples reaching 100% in 40 min. The photoreduction kinetics of Cr2O72− by 2-T/U was also studied, with a photoreduction rate of 0.0871 min−1, which is about 2.6 times higher than that of the pure UiO-66-NH. This research provides a new type of efficient and environmentally friendly photocatalysts for the photoreduction of Cr2O72−. Full article
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24 pages, 5387 KiB  
Article
Plant-Based Copper Oxide Nanoparticles; Biosynthesis, Characterization, Antibacterial Activity, Tanning Wastewater Treatment, and Heavy Metals Sorption
by Ahmed M. Eid, Amr Fouda, Saad El-Din Hassan, Mohammed F. Hamza, Nada K. Alharbi, Amr Elkelish, Afaf Alharthi and Waheed M. Salem
Catalysts 2023, 13(2), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal13020348 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3674
Abstract
Herein, the aqueous extract of Portulaca oleracea has been used as a safe, cheap, eco-friendly, and applicable scale-up method to bio-fabricate copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO-NPs). The character of CuO-NPs were determined using UV-vis spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Transmission electron [...] Read more.
Herein, the aqueous extract of Portulaca oleracea has been used as a safe, cheap, eco-friendly, and applicable scale-up method to bio-fabricate copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO-NPs). The character of CuO-NPs were determined using UV-vis spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Energy dispersive X-ray(EDX), Dynamic light scattering (DLS), and zeta potential. Spherical and crystalline CuO-NPs with a size range of 5–30 nm at a maximum surface plasmon resonance of 275 nm were successfully fabricated. The main components of the green-synthesized particles were Cu and O with weight percentages of 49.92 and 28.45%, respectively. A Zeta-potential value of −24.6 mV was recorded for CuO-NPs, indicating their high stability. The plant-based CuO-NPs showed promising antimicrobial and catalytic activity in a dose-dependent manner. Results showed that the synthesized CuO-NPs had the efficacy to inhibit the growth of pathogens Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans with low MIC values in the ranges of 6.25–25 µg/mL. The highest decolorization percentages of tanning wastewater were attained under sunlight irradiation conditions at a concentration of 2.0 mg/mL after 200 min with percentages of 88.6 ± 1.5% compared to those which were recorded under dark conditions (70.3 ± 1.2%). The physicochemical parameters of tanning wastewater including total suspended solids (TSS), total dissolved solids (TDS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), and conductivity under optimum conditions were significantly decreased with percentages of 95.2, 86.7, 91.4, 87.2, and 97.2%, respectively. Interestingly, the heavy metals including cobalt (Co), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), cadmium (Cd), and chromium (Cr (VI)) decreased with percentages of 73.2, 80.8, 72.4, 64.4, and 91.4%, respectively, after treatment of tanning wastewater with CuO-NPs under optimum conditions. Overall, the plant-synthesized CuO-NPs that have antimicrobial and catalytic activities are considered a promising nano-catalyst and environmentally beneficial to wastewater treatment. Full article
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16 pages, 4060 KiB  
Article
Photocatalytic Degradation and Mineralization of Estriol (E3) Hormone Using Boron-Doped TiO2 Catalyst
by Laura Yanneth Ramírez-Quintanilla, Diego Pino-Sandoval, Juan Camilo Murillo-Sierra, Jorge Luis Guzmán-Mar, Edgar J. Ruiz-Ruiz and Aracely Hernández-Ramírez
Catalysts 2023, 13(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal13010043 - 25 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1984
Abstract
In this research work, boron-doped titanium oxide (B-TiO2) was prepared by the sol-gel method to investigate its behavior in the degradation of the recalcitrant hormone estriol (E3). The doped photocatalyst was synthesized at different boron/titania ratios of 2, 3, and 5 [...] Read more.
In this research work, boron-doped titanium oxide (B-TiO2) was prepared by the sol-gel method to investigate its behavior in the degradation of the recalcitrant hormone estriol (E3). The doped photocatalyst was synthesized at different boron/titania ratios of 2, 3, and 5 wt.% of boron with respect to the TiO2 content. The obtained materials were characterized by UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The textural properties, specific surface area, and porosity were obtained from N2 adsorption–desorption isotherms by BET and BJH methods, respectively. The photocatalytic performance of each synthesized catalyst was evaluated on the degradation of an aqueous solution (10 mg/L) of estriol (E3) under simulated solar radiation. The variation in the hormone concentration was determined by the HPLC technique, and the mineralization was evaluated by the quantification of total organic carbon (TOC). The obtained results indicated that the catalyst with 3 wt.% of boron incorporation exhibited the best performance on the degradation and mineralization of estriol, achieving its complete degradation at 300 kJ/m2 of accumulated energy and 71% of mineralization at 400 kJ/m2 (2 h) obtaining a non-toxic effluent. Full article
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14 pages, 5302 KiB  
Article
Application of a Zero-Valent Iron/Cork as Permeable Reactive Barrier for In Situ Remediation of Phenanthrene in Soil
by Álvaro G. P. Galvão, Letícia G. A. Costa, Emily C. T. de A. Costa, Djalma R. da Silva, Carlos A. Martínez-Huitle and Elisama Vieira dos Santos
Catalysts 2022, 12(12), 1591; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal12121591 - 6 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1200
Abstract
This paper proposes an eco-efficient treatment technology for removing phenanthrene (PHE) from kaolinite soil, incorporating a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) in an electrokinetic (EK) remediation system, which was made by modifying the granulated cork (GC) with Fe@Fe2O3, identified as [...] Read more.
This paper proposes an eco-efficient treatment technology for removing phenanthrene (PHE) from kaolinite soil, incorporating a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) in an electrokinetic (EK) remediation system, which was made by modifying the granulated cork (GC) with Fe@Fe2O3, identified as EK/Fe@Fe2O3/GC. The novel product Fe@Fe2O3/GC was characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray analysis, and element mapping. EK tests were conducted to investigate the performance of the EK/Fe@Fe2O3/GC for removal of PHE from soil. The results showed that PHE was driven by the electro-osmotic flow toward the cathode and reacted with the EK/Fe@Fe2O3/GC. Further, the removal efficiency of PHE in the soil was higher in the presence of H2O2 due to the additional reactions achieved. The results were discussed in light of the existing literature. Full article
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22 pages, 8829 KiB  
Article
Fabrication of Carbon/Zinc Oxide Nanocomposites as Highly Efficient Catalytic Materials for Application in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
by Hussain Gulab, Nusrat Fatima, Nadia Shahzad, Muhammad Imran Shahzad, Mohsin Siddique, Muhammad Hussain and Muhammad Humayun
Catalysts 2022, 12(11), 1354; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal12111354 - 3 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1441
Abstract
Different nanostructured semiconducting ZnO photoanodes were prepared by Hydrothermal (HT), Co-precipitation (CoP) and Chemical Bath Deposition (CBD) methods for their use in the Dye Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs) in the present study. Additionally, different ZnO nanocomposites were synthesized by mixing the Carbon Nanotubes [...] Read more.
Different nanostructured semiconducting ZnO photoanodes were prepared by Hydrothermal (HT), Co-precipitation (CoP) and Chemical Bath Deposition (CBD) methods for their use in the Dye Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs) in the present study. Additionally, different ZnO nanocomposites were synthesized by mixing the Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs), Graphene Oxide (GO) and their combination with the ZnO nanostructures. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed various morphologies of ZnO nanostructures and nanocomposites such as nanoflowers, nanorods, rhombohedral, cubic, and cauliflower-like nanorods, and nanorods with hexagonal symmetry. Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectra confirmed the purity of the synthesized samples. X-ray Diffraction (XRD) demonstrated the hexagonal wurtzite phase of ZnO and a minor presence of CNTs and graphene. The UV-Visible, transmittance and diffuse reflectance spectra demonstrated that the ZnO synthesized through the CBD method exhibits the highest transmittance as 70–71% in the UV-Vis range and reduced % R. Optical band gaps of the samples were determined with the help of Tauc plots. Comparison of J-V characteristics showed that the ZnO synthesized via the HT method exhibits the highest conversion efficiency of 1.45%. Comparison among pristine ZnO synthesized via CBD and ZnO nanocomposites revealed that ZnO/CNTs possesses the highest energy conversion efficiency of 1.23% with enhanced JSC of 4.49 mA/cm2. Full article
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