Special Issue "10th Anniversary of Nanomaterials—Recent Advances in Nanomaterials for Energy and Catalysis"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and Catalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Nikolaos Dimitratos
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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Chimica Industriale "Toso Montanari", Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Viale Risorgimento 4, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Interests: heterogeneous catalysis; catalysis for energy; H2 production; CO2 transformation to methanol; biomass transformation; supported metal nanoparticles; heteropolyacids; biomass conversion; bifunctional catalysts; size and shape control of metal colloids; in situ and operando spectroscopy; advanced characterization using synchrotron and neutron techniques
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Dr. Alberto Villa
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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Chimica, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
Interests: metal nanoparticles; heterogeneous catalysis; nanostructured metal oxides; functionalized carbons; metal carbides; biomass transformation
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Dr. Simon Freakley
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Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Bath, 1 South, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK
Interests: selective oxidation/reduction; catalyst preparation; supported nanoparticle catalysts, in situ spectroscopy
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Dr. Qian He
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Guest Editor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore Country: Singapore
Interests: Advanced Electron Micrsocopy; heterogeneous catalysts; energy- and Environment-related nanomaterials; in situ electron microscopy; functional interfaces in materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Nanomaterials with a Special Issue in the Section “Energy and Catalysis” (ISSN 2079-4991; CODEN: NANOKO) in 2020.

On behalf of the Editors in Chief, Prof. Dr. Shirley Chiang, and members of the Editorial Office, and ourselves, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our authors and reviewers for their valuable contributions and for ensuring that Nanomaterials is a successful and respected journal in its field. To highlight this anniversary, we will be serving as Editors of a Special Issue that will cover various topics related to Energy and Catalysis.

We will seek papers on the understanding of the formation of metal nanoparticles with a specific focus on the morphology, including unsupported and supported colloidal nanoparticles with alloy and core–shell structures for (i) energy production including catalytic, photocatalytic, and electrochemical processes, (ii) biomass conversion, and (iii) sustainable chemical processes. Emphasis will be given to the (i) the rational design and synthesis of advanced nanomaterials, (ii) the basic and advanced characterization of understanding their structures and active sites, (iii) the understanding of the nanoparticle formation and reaction mechanisms, and (iv) computational methods for the design of nanomaterials and structure–activity correlations.

We intend to keep the scope of this Special Issue broad and adequately reflect the diversity and inclusiveness of the original research covered by Nanomaterials (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/nanomaterials).

On behalf of the Special Issue co-Editor and myself, we warmly invite the Nanomaterials community to submit their original work or an up-to-date review to this Special Issue, which will provide the readership with a comprehensive overview of many the topics covered by our discipline.

Prof. Dr. Nikolaos Dimitratos
Dr. Alberto Villa
Dr. Simon Freakley
Dr. Qian He
Guest Editors

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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 papers will be 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. Nanomaterials 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 2000 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.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Development of Porous Titania Structure with Improved Photocatalytic Activity: Response Surface Modeling and Multi-Objective Optimization
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050998 (registering DOI) - 23 May 2020
Abstract
Porous titania was successfully synthesized by an ultrasound-assisted sol-gel route. The synthesis process was empirically modeled and optimized using the response surface methodology (RSM). Input variables adopted for optimization dealt with the weight ratio of precursors (r) and the sonication time [...] Read more.
Porous titania was successfully synthesized by an ultrasound-assisted sol-gel route. The synthesis process was empirically modeled and optimized using the response surface methodology (RSM). Input variables adopted for optimization dealt with the weight ratio of precursors (r) and the sonication time (t), representing the used factors in the synthesis procedure. With regard to application, the synthesized TiO2 samples were tested for the photodegradation of two water-soluble organic pollutants under UV–Vis irradiation. Optimal conditions for the efficient pollutants’ photodegradation were found to involve a precursors ratio of 3 and a sonication time of 60 min. Thus, the M5 sample prepared under the founded optimal conditions yielded the maximal removal efficiencies of 98.4% and 46.3% for the photodegradation of CR dye and 2,4-D herbicide, respectively. In addition, the photodegradation kinetics revealed the pseudo first-order rate constants, showing the photodegradation of CR (k1 = 8.86 × 10−2 min−1) by M5 sample is about 1.3-fold faster than the photodegradation of 2,4-D pesticide (k2 = 6.84 × 10−2 min−1). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Photocatalytic Reduction of Cr(VI) in the Presence of Humic Acid Using Immobilized Ce–ZrO2 under Visible Light
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 779; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040779 - 18 Apr 2020
Abstract
Cr(VI) has several industrial applications but it is one of the most dangerous pollutants because of its carcinogenicity and high toxicity. Thus, the removal of Cr(VI) by photocatalytic reduction was investigated. The catalyst applied, Ce–ZrO2, was immobilized, through a sol–gel process [...] Read more.
Cr(VI) has several industrial applications but it is one of the most dangerous pollutants because of its carcinogenicity and high toxicity. Thus, the removal of Cr(VI) by photocatalytic reduction was investigated. The catalyst applied, Ce–ZrO2, was immobilized, through a sol–gel process on a silicon carbide (SiC) support, to increase the efficiency and avoid using suspended nanoparticles. The influence of initial pH, humic acid (HA), and catalyst dosage was investigated for Cr(VI) containing solutions. Then, a real galvanizing industry effluent (Cr(VI) = 77 mg L-1mg.L−1, Zn = 1789 mg L−1) was treated. It was observed that Cr(VI) adsorption and photoreduction are greatly favored at low pH values. HA can decrease Cr(VI) adsorption but also acts as holes scavenger, reducing the electron–hole recombination, favoring then the photoreduction. With the immobilized Ce–ZrO2, more than 97% of Cr(VI) was removed from the diluted effluent. These results indicate the feasibility to treat Cr(VI) effluents even in the presence of other metals and natural organic matter. The developed material has great chemical and mechanical resistances and avoids the use of nanoparticles, dangerous for the environment and hard to recover. Moreover, solar light can be used to drive the process, which contributes to the development of more sustainable, cleaner, and cost-effective wastewater treatments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Photoexcitation Processes in Oligomethine Cyanine Dyes for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells—Synthesis and Computational Study
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040662 - 02 Apr 2020
Abstract
We report density functional theory (DFT) calculations of three newly synthesized oligomethine cyanine-based dyes as potential TiO2-sensitizers in dye-sensitized solar cells. The three dyes have π-symmetry and the same acceptor side, terminating in the carboxylic anchor, but they differ through the [...] Read more.
We report density functional theory (DFT) calculations of three newly synthesized oligomethine cyanine-based dyes as potential TiO2-sensitizers in dye-sensitized solar cells. The three dyes have π-symmetry and the same acceptor side, terminating in the carboxylic anchor, but they differ through the π-bridge and the donor groups. We perform DFT and time-dependent DFT studies and present the electronic structure and optical properties of the dyes alone as well as adsorbed to the TiO2 nanocluster, to provide some predictions on the photovoltaic performance of the system. We analyze theoretically the factors that can influence the short circuit current and the open circuit voltage of the dye-sensitized solar cells. We examine the matching of the absorption spectra of the dye and dye-nanocluster system with the solar irradiation spectrum. We display the energy level diagrams and discuss the alignment between the excited state of the dyes and the conduction band edge of the oxide as well as between the redox level of the electrolyte and the ground state of the dyes. We determine the electron density of the key molecular orbitals and analyze comparatively the electron transfer from the dye to the semiconducting substrate. To put our findings in the right perspective we compare the results of our calculations with those obtained for a coumarin-based dye used in fabricating and testing actual devices, for which experimental data regarding the photovoltaic performance are available. Full article
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