Special Issue "Efficient and Ecofriendly Chemical Synthesis of Advanced Materials for Energy and Environment"

A special issue of Sustainable Chemistry (ISSN 2673-4079).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 7856

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Francesca Deganello
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Institute for the Study of Nanostructured Materials, Italian National Research Council, Rome, Italy
Interests: solution combustion synthesis; nanomaterials for energy and environment; perovskite-type compounds; solid oxide fuel cells; rietveld analysis; sustainability and green chemistry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Maria Luisa Testa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for the Study of Nanostructured Materials (ISMN)—Italian National Research Council (CNR), Via Ugo La Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy
Interests: sustainable heterogeneous catalysis applied in the conversion of biomass; sustainable functionalization procedures; synthesis of metal nanoparticles; use of waste for the synthesis and production of new materials; biofuel production; added-value products; circular chemistry; process efficiency; microwave-assisted reactions; hybrid materials for wastewater purification; waste-derived antimicrobial materials; supramolecular systems for nanocatalysts
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Sergio Gonzalez-Cortes
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QR, UK
Interests: heterogeneous catalysts; sustainable chemistry; microwave catalysis, biomass valorisation; design and synthesis of nanomaterials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Chemistry plays a fundamental role in advanced materials production. However, chemical synthesis is still bound to old procedures and methodologies that are often far from being sustainable, above all in the industrial field. Little attention has been dedicated to the efficiency of the processes, to the toxicity of the used reagents and solvents, and to quality and amount of waste produced after the procedures. The energy and the time required for the overall process are seldom taken into consideration. Furthermore, the environmental, health and ethical issues generated by the synthetic process or by the materials application are mostly neglected. In order to protect our environment without stopping the technological advancement of our society, a change is required. Therefore, a transition toward efficient and ecofriendly chemical methods for the synthesis of advanced sustainable materials is of paramount importance.

There are several reviews and Special Issues related to the synthesis of materials for energy and environmental applications. However, most of them cover quite specific topics within the wide spectrum of the synthesis and application of materials. This Special Issue, titled Efficient and Ecofriendly Chemical Synthesis of Advanced Materials for Energy and Environment, aims to give an integral perspective on the various synthesis methods of advanced materials, as well as their mechanistic features, advantages, challenges, and utilizations for energy production and environmental protection.

Sustainable chemical synthesis should take into consideration the overall process, from the feedstocks to the materials application, following the principles of a circular chemistry.

Chemists are encouraged to propose their sustainable methodologies for the synthesis of advanced materials for energy- and environment-related applications, considering at least one of the following aspects:

  • eco-friendly procedures and the use of non toxic reagent and solvents
  • use of waste-derived precursors in the synthesis
  • improvement of the reproducibility of the synthesis, as well as its scale up, at least at a laboratory scale
  • improvement of the efficiency, in terms of cost, energy and time saving, selectivity and yield.
  • waste reduction in the whole synthetic process
  • ethical and safety issues in the advanced materials synthesis

Looking at some of the aspects listed above, potential contributions (review articles, perspectives, original papers, and communications) should include, but are not limited to, the below topics:

  • Synthesis of photoluminescent materials for solar cell applications
  • Synthesis of advanced materials for applications as electrocatalysts, photocatalysts, and conventional heterogeneous catalysts
  • Synthesis and application of oxide catalysts from waste materials
  • Current and new strategies for synthesizing micro- and meso-structured materials
  • New synthetic approaches of materials for fuel cells and metal–air batteries
  • Advanced techniques for the in situ study of the synthesis of nanostructured materials
  • Synthesis of carbon-/graphene-based nanomaterials, and their energy and environment applications
  • Design and development of materials for water splitting reactions
  • Synthesis of efficient nanocatalysts for converting CO2 to high-value products
  • Design of layered-double hydroxide (LDH)-derived mixed oxides and/or LDHs-composites for energy and environmental applications
  • Synthesis and application of both supported metal catalysts with nanodispersed metal active species and organic–inorganic materials

Dr. Francesca Deganello
Dr. Maria Luisa Testa
Dr. Sergio Gonzalez-Cortes
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. Sustainable Chemistry is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 1000 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

  • materials synthesis
  • sustainable synthesis
  • energy and environment
  • advanced materials
  • ecofriendly procedures
  • waste reduction
  • waste precursors
  • waste management
  • fuel battery catalysts

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Green Synthesis of De Novo Bioinspired Porous Iron-Tannate Microstructures with Amphoteric Surface Properties
Sustain. Chem. 2022, 3(2), 192-204; https://doi.org/10.3390/suschem3020013 - 05 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1183
Abstract
Bioinspired porous microstructures of iron-tannate (Fe(III)-TA) coordination polymer framework were synthesized by catenating natural tannic acid with iron(II), using a scalable aqueous synthesis method in ambient conditions. The chemical composition, morphology, physiochemical properties, and colloidal stability of microstructures were elucidated. The surface area [...] Read more.
Bioinspired porous microstructures of iron-tannate (Fe(III)-TA) coordination polymer framework were synthesized by catenating natural tannic acid with iron(II), using a scalable aqueous synthesis method in ambient conditions. The chemical composition, morphology, physiochemical properties, and colloidal stability of microstructures were elucidated. The surface area (SBET) and the desorption pore volume were measured to be 70.47 m2/g and 0. 44 cm3/g, respectively, and the porous structure was confirmed with an average pore dimension of ~27 nm. Microstructures were thermally stable up to 180 °C, with an initial weight loss of 13.7% at 180 °C. They exhibited high chemical stability with pH-responsive amphoteric properties in aqueous media at pH levels ranging from 2 to 12. Supporting their amphoteric sorption, microstructures exhibited rapid removal of Pb+2 from water, with 99% removal efficiency, yielding a maximum sorption capacity of 166.66 mg/g. Amphoteric microstructures of bioinspired metal–phenolate coordination polymers remain largely unexplored. Additionally, natural polyphenols have seldomly been used as polytopic linkers to construct both porous and pH-responsive amphoteric coordination polymer frameworks with a robust structure in both acidic and basic media. Thus, this de novo porous microstructure of Fe(III)-TA and its physiochemical surface properties have opened new avenues to design thermally and chemically stable, eco-friendly, low-cost amphoteric sorbents with multifunctionality for adsorption, ion exchange, separation, storage, and sensing of both anions and cations present in heterogeneous media. Full article
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Article
Synthesis of Silica-Based Materials Using Bio-Residues through the Sol-Gel Technique
Sustain. Chem. 2021, 2(4), 670-685; https://doi.org/10.3390/suschem2040037 - 30 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1525
Abstract
This study focused on the use of citrus bio-waste and obtention of silica-based materials through the sol-gel technique for promoting a greener and more sustainable catalysis. The sol-gel method is a versatile synthesis route characterized by the low temperatures the materials are synthesized [...] Read more.
This study focused on the use of citrus bio-waste and obtention of silica-based materials through the sol-gel technique for promoting a greener and more sustainable catalysis. The sol-gel method is a versatile synthesis route characterized by the low temperatures the materials are synthesized in, which allows the incorporation of organic components. This method is carried out by acid or alkali hydrolysis combined with bio-waste, such as orange and lemon peels, generated as co-products in the food processing industry. The main objective was to obtain silica-based materials from the precursor TEOS with different catalysts—acetic, citric and hydro-chloric acids and ammonium hydroxide—adding different percentages of lemon and orange peels in order to find the influence of bio-waste on acids/alkali precursor hydrolysis. This was to partially replace these catalysts for orange or lemon peels. The solids obtained were characterized with different techniques, such as SEM, FT₋IR, potentiometric titration and XRD. SEM images were compared with pure silica obtained to contrast the morphology of the acidic and alkali hydrolysis. However, until now, few attempts have been made to highlight the renewability of reagents used in the synthesis or to incorporate bio-based catalytic processes on larger scales. Full article
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Review

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Review
Design of Experiment: A Rational and Still Unexplored Approach to Inorganic Materials’ Synthesis
Sustain. Chem. 2022, 3(1), 114-130; https://doi.org/10.3390/suschem3010009 - 06 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1666
Abstract
This review was devoted to outlining the use and potential increasing application of the Design of Experiment (DoE) approach to the rational and planned synthesis of inorganic nanomaterials, with a particular focus on polycrystalline nanostructures (metal and alloys, oxides, chalcogenides, halogenides, etc.) produced [...] Read more.
This review was devoted to outlining the use and potential increasing application of the Design of Experiment (DoE) approach to the rational and planned synthesis of inorganic nanomaterials, with a particular focus on polycrystalline nanostructures (metal and alloys, oxides, chalcogenides, halogenides, etc.) produced by sustainable wet chemistry routes based on a multi-parameter experimental landscape. After having contextualised the stringent need for a rational approach to inorganic materials’ synthesis, a concise theoretical background on DoE is provided, focusing on its statistical basis, shortly describing the different sub-methodologies, and outlining the pros and cons of each. In the second part of the review, a wider section is dedicated to the application of DoE to the rational synthesis of different kinds of chemical systems, with a specific focus on inorganic materials. Full article
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Review
Hydrocarbon Compatible SOFC Anode Catalysts and Their Syntheses: A Review
Sustain. Chem. 2021, 2(4), 707-763; https://doi.org/10.3390/suschem2040039 - 10 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1973
Abstract
With the fast depleting rate of fossil fuels, the whole world is looking for promising energy sources for the future, and fuel cells are perceived as futuristic energy sources. Out of the different varieties of fuel cells, solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are [...] Read more.
With the fast depleting rate of fossil fuels, the whole world is looking for promising energy sources for the future, and fuel cells are perceived as futuristic energy sources. Out of the different varieties of fuel cells, solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are promising due to their unique multi-fuel operating capability without the need for an external reformer. Nonetheless, the state-of-the-art anode material Ni–YSZ undergoes carburization in presence of hydrocarbons (HCs), resulting in performance degradation. Several strategies have been explored by researchers to overcome the issue of carburization of the anode. The important strategies include reducing SOFC operating temperature, adjustment of steam: carbon ratio, and use of alternate anode catalysts. Among these, the use of alternate anodes is a promising strategy. Apart from the carburization issue, the anode can also undergo sulfur poisoning. The present review discusses carburization and sulfur poisoning issues and the different strategies that can be adopted for tackling them. The quintessence of this review is to provide greater insight into the various developments in hydrocarbon compatible anode catalysts and into the synthesis routes employed for the synthesis of hydrocarbon compatible anodes. Full article
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