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Advances in Sustainable Functional Materials for Electrochemical Applications

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Chemical Engineering and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 3604

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. CERENA—Centre for Natural Resources and the Environment, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
2. CBIOS—Center for Research in Biosciences & Health Technologies, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Campo Grande 376, 1749-024 Lisbon, Portugal
3. Centro de investigação interdisciplinar Egas Moniz (CiiEM), Instituto Universitário Egas Moniz, CRL, Quinta da Granja, 2829-511 Caparica, Portugal
Interests: green technologies, in particular supercritical fluid extraction; bioactive compounds obtained from natural sources; biomass exploitation potential

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Guest Editor
Center of Physics and Engineering of Advanced Materials (CeFEMA), Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: low-temperature fuel cells; alkaline water electrolysis; electrochemical wastewater treatment
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Electrochemical processes are characterized by their high efficiency, which is of utmost importance in terms of sustainability. Green technologies comprise methods, practices, and materials in which the consideration of the long- and short-term impact on the environment is paramount. Pairing electrochemical processes with green technologies can be the key to developing novel functional materials. Green technologies need to be addressed and developed as a means to achieve sustainability for our planet by counteracting harmful energy policies and the general depletion of natural resources. For instance, green solvents, such as supercritical fluids, have been used as a medium for nanomaterial deposition, leading to electrocatalysts with higher electrochemical activities than those prepared by conventional methods. Other such techniques are certainly out there. Hence, we would like to invite you to contribute to this Special Issue of Sustainability, showcasing these concepts by bringing forward your research in this area to give it the deserved visibility, and to stimulate others to follow this path of sustainable innovation.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but not limited to) the following:

  • Environmental electrochemistry;
  • Materials technology;
  • Green technologies;
  • Sustainable materials;
  • Energy storage;
  • CO2 storage.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Maria João Cebola
Dr. Diogo M.F. Santos
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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2400 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

  • functional materials
  • green techniques
  • sustainability
  • electrocatalysts
  • electrolyser
  • deposition

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

24 pages, 5496 KiB  
Article
Correlation between the Experimental and Theoretical Photoelectrochemical Response of a WO3 Electrode for Efficient Water Splitting through the Implementation of an Artificial Neural Network
by Mamy Diaby, Asma Alimi, Afrah Bardaoui, Diogo M. F. Santos, Radhaoune Chtourou and Ibtissem Ben Assaker
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11751; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511751 - 30 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1057
Abstract
Since the discovery of photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting with titanium dioxide electrodes in the presence of ultraviolet light, much work has been conducted to build an effective PEC water splitting system and develop novel photoelectrodes. Using a facile and controllable electrodeposition method, a [...] Read more.
Since the discovery of photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting with titanium dioxide electrodes in the presence of ultraviolet light, much work has been conducted to build an effective PEC water splitting system and develop novel photoelectrodes. Using a facile and controllable electrodeposition method, a thin tungsten trioxide (WO3) film electrode onto a stainless steel (SS) substrate was synthetized. The effect of the deposition time on the structural, morphological, optical, and electrical properties of the as-grown WO3 thin films was assessed. XRD spectra of the obtained films reveal the polycrystalline nature of WO3 with a triclinic phase and exhibit a sharp transition to the (002) plane when the deposition time was extended beyond 10 min. The surface morphology showed a remarkable change in the grain size, thickness, and surface roughness when varying the deposition time. UV–Vis spectrophotometry revealed that the optical band gap values of WO3 decreased from 1.78 to 1.36 eV by extending the electrodeposition duration from 10 to 30 min, respectively. Notably, as indicated from the PEC measurements, the obtained photoelectrode exhibited the effects of the deposition time on the photocurrent density, and the maximum value obtained was around 0.07 mA cm−2 for the sample deposited at 10 min. Finally, this study presents for the first time an artificial neural network model to predict the PEC behavior of the prepared photoanode, with a highly satisfactory performance of less than 0.05% error. The low cost and simply synthetized WO3/SS electrode with superior electrochemical performance and the excellent correlation between the experimental and theoretical results demonstrate its potential for practical application in water splitting and hydrogen production. Full article
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15 pages, 6457 KiB  
Article
Insights on the Performance of Nickel Foam and Stainless Steel Foam Electrodes for Alkaline Water Electrolysis
by Ana L. Santos, Maria João Cebola, Jorge Antunes and Diogo M. F. Santos
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 11011; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151411011 - 13 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1968
Abstract
Green hydrogen production seems to be the best route to achieve a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, as hydrogen has the highest energy density on a mass basis and its combustion does not produce greenhouse gases. Water electrolysis is the method of choice [...] Read more.
Green hydrogen production seems to be the best route to achieve a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, as hydrogen has the highest energy density on a mass basis and its combustion does not produce greenhouse gases. Water electrolysis is the method of choice for producing green hydrogen. Among commercially available water electrolysis systems, alkaline water electrolysis (AWE) is the most well-established technology, which, nevertheless, still needs to improve its efficiency. Since the electrodes’ performance is of utmost importance for electrolysis efficiency, nickel foam (NF) and stainless steel foam (SSF) electrodes were analyzed via voltammetry to validate their catalytic activity toward the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in 30 wt.% NaOH electrolyte solution. Moreover, at a current density of 50 mA cm−2, the NF and the SSF exhibited good stability, with the potential for HER and OER stabilizing at −0.5 V and 1.6 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode. A lab-scale electrolyzer attained current densities of 10, 20, and 50 mA cm−2 at small cell voltages of 1.70 V, 1.80 V, and 1.95 V. The results validated NF and SSF as electrodes for a high-performance AWE electrolyzer, especially at higher temperatures. They ensured the progress for the project’s next stage, i.e., constructing an electrolyzer at a pilot scale. Full article
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