The Synthesis, Characterization, and Application of Novel Photocatalytic Materials

A special issue of ChemEngineering (ISSN 2305-7084).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 September 2024 | Viewed by 3459

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Demokritos National Centre for Scientific Research, Athens, Greece
Interests: photocatalysis; water pollutants; AOPs

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Guest Editor
Leibniz Institute for Catalysis (LIKAT), Rostock, Germany
Interests: photocatalysis; artificial photosynthesis; solar fuels; the synthesis of advanced nanomaterials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A photocatalyst is a semiconductor that, when irradiated, adsorbs energy equal to or greater than its bandgap; therefore, a valence electron is excited into the conduction band, leaving a valence band hole behind. These photogenerated electrons and holes reach the surface of the semiconductor, where they reduce the species or act as oxidizing agents, respectively. Among all photocatalysts, oxide-based materials have been found to be more active, environmentally compatible and stable, with TiO2 being studied thoroughly. Nevertheless, innovative photocatalytic materials synthesized through green approaches are being reported constantly. Challenging issues in the design of efficient photocatalytic materials include eliminating charge recombination, expanding light absorption over the ultraviolet region, and overcoming deactivation due to the adsorption of photodegradation reaction products on their surface. These novel photocatalytic materials can be applied to environmental remediation, such as water and wastewater treatment and reuse, or air and industrial gas stream treatment. They could also be utilized for potential applications in food preservation, water splitting, self-cleaning surfaces, or testing for antimicrobial properties.

Authors are welcome to cover any of the issues mentioned above according to their expertise.

Dr. Chrysoula Athanasekou
Dr. Nikolaos G. Moustakas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • visible/solar light harvesting
  • advanced oxidation/reduction technologies
  • water and wastewater treatment/reuse
  • self-cleaning surfaces
  • air treatment
  • food preservation
  • water splitting
  • antimicrobial properties
  • industrial gas stream treatment
  • green synthesis

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 3032 KiB  
Article
Novel Bi-Functional MoS2/α-Fe2O3 Nanocomposites for High Photocatalytic Performance
by Islam Ibrahim, Pinelopi P. Falara, Elias Sakellis, Maria Antoniadou, Chrysoula Athanasekou and Michalis K. Arfanis
ChemEngineering 2024, 8(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering8010020 - 06 Feb 2024
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Abstract
In this study, 3-dimensional molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) structures, integrated with hematite (α-Fe2O3) nanoparticles, were fabricated under a convenient two-step hydrothermal route. The fabricated photocatalytic nanocomposites consist of well-arranged MoS2 flakes, resembling spherical flower-like morphology, and the [...] Read more.
In this study, 3-dimensional molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) structures, integrated with hematite (α-Fe2O3) nanoparticles, were fabricated under a convenient two-step hydrothermal route. The fabricated photocatalytic nanocomposites consist of well-arranged MoS2 flakes, resembling spherical flower-like morphology, and the nanoparticulate α-Fe2O3 structures decorate the 3D network. By raising the α-Fe2O3 weight ratio, the composites’ specific surface area and morphology were not affected, regardless of the partial cover of the cavities for higher hematite content. Moreover, the crystallinity examination with XRD, Raman, and FTIR techniques revealed that the precursor reagents were fully transformed to well-crystalized MoS2 and Fe2O3 composites of high purity, as no organic or inorganic residues could be detected. The photocatalytic oxidation and reduction performance of these composites was evaluated against the tetracycline pharmaceutical and the industrial pollutant hexavalent chromium, respectively. The improvement in the removal efficiencies demonstrates that the superior photoactivity originates from the high crystallinity and homogeneity of the composite, in combination with the enhanced charge carriers’ separation in the semiconductors’ interface. Full article
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Review

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41 pages, 2395 KiB  
Review
Introduction and Advancements in Room-Temperature Ferromagnetic Metal Oxide Semiconductors for Enhanced Photocatalytic Performance
by Ganeshraja Ayyakannu Sundaram, Govinda raj Muniyandi, Jayashree Ethiraj, Vairavel Parimelazhagan and Alagarsamy Santhana Krishna Kumar
ChemEngineering 2024, 8(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering8020036 - 01 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Recent advancements in the field of room-temperature ferromagnetic metal oxide semiconductors (RTFMOS) have revealed their promising potential for enhancing photocatalytic performance. This review delves into the combined investigation of the photocatalytic and ferromagnetic properties at room temperature, with a particular focus on metal [...] Read more.
Recent advancements in the field of room-temperature ferromagnetic metal oxide semiconductors (RTFMOS) have revealed their promising potential for enhancing photocatalytic performance. This review delves into the combined investigation of the photocatalytic and ferromagnetic properties at room temperature, with a particular focus on metal oxides like TiO2, which have emerged as pivotal materials in the fields of magnetism and environmental remediation. Despite extensive research efforts, the precise mechanism governing the interplay between ferromagnetism and photocatalysis in these materials remains only partially understood. Several crucial factors contributing to magnetism, such as oxygen vacancies and various metal dopants, have been identified. Numerous studies have highlighted the significant role of these factors in driving room-temperature ferromagnetism and photocatalytic activity in wide-bandgap metal oxides. However, establishing a direct correlation between magnetism, oxygen vacancies, dopant concentration, and photocatalysis has posed significant challenges. These RTFMOS hold immense potential to significantly boost photocatalytic efficiency, offering promising solutions for diverse environmental- and energy-related applications, including water purification, air pollution control, and solar energy conversion. This review aims to offer a comprehensive overview of recent advancements in understanding the magnetism and photocatalytic behavior of metal oxides. By synthesizing the latest findings, this study sheds light on the considerable promise of RTFMOS as effective photocatalysts, thus contributing to advancements in environmental remediation and related fields. Full article
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45 pages, 5960 KiB  
Review
Smart Poly(N-Isopropylacrylamide)-Based Microgels Supplemented with Nanomaterials for Catalytic Reduction Reactions—A Review
by Mir Waqas Alam
ChemEngineering 2023, 7(6), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering7060105 - 02 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1212
Abstract
The continuous and irresponsible addition of environmental pollutants into aqueous reservoirs due to excessive industrialization is a significant contemporary challenge. Nanomaterial-based catalytic reduction provides an effective way to convert these materials into environmentally useful products. Responsive polymeric assemblies, complemented with nanomaterials, represent advanced [...] Read more.
The continuous and irresponsible addition of environmental pollutants into aqueous reservoirs due to excessive industrialization is a significant contemporary challenge. Nanomaterial-based catalytic reduction provides an effective way to convert these materials into environmentally useful products. Responsive polymeric assemblies, complemented with nanomaterials, represent advanced nanocatalysts that are gaining interest within the scientific community. These assemblies exhibit reversible morphological transitions in response to variations induced by external factors such as temperature, pH, or electromagnetic irradiation treatment. The term hybrid microgels has been coined for assemblies that contain both nanomaterial and smart polymeric components. This review presents recent advancements in the field of hybrid microgels as nanocatalysts for conducting reduction reactions on pollutants present in aqueous media. Apart from placing detailed emphasis on the advancements documented for these assemblies, the fundamentals associated with hybrid microgels, as well as the typical catalytic reduction, are also emphasized to develop an understanding for new academicians looking to explore this field. The author hopes that this critical review of the most recent academic literature, including the years spanning 2020 to 2023, will serve as a tutorial for the identification of research gaps in this field, along with its prospective solutions. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Exploring metal modified TiO2-based Photocatalysts for Efficient and Sustainable Hydrogen Production
Authors: Apostolos Salepis; Emmanouil Orfanos; Athanassios G. Coutsolelos; A. Ch. Mitropoulos; Kalliopi Ladomenou
Affiliation: International Hellenic University, Department of Chemistry, Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry, Kavala Campus, Agios Loucas, 65404, Greece
Abstract: The photocatalytic hydrogen production is one of the most promising approaches for sustainable energy production. In the literature there are a plethora of systems that have been carefully designed in order to use solar energy and convert it to chemical energy. The main drawback of the reported photocatalysts is their stability. Therefore, there is still the challenge to produce a cost-effective photocatalyst that could be used in real applications. Suitable photocatalysts for H2 production must have the appropriate band-edge energy positions. In addition, an important role plays the sacrificial agent and the use of cocatalysts. One photocatalyst that meets the above requirements and has been involved in a large number of studies is TiO2. In this review paper the principles of TiO2 and metal doped TiO2 photocatalysts were demonstrated. Platinum (Pt), gold (Au), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), ruthenium (Ru), iron (Fe), silver (Ag) and bimetallic (Ni-Fe, Ni-Cu) are the TiO2 dopants that have been described. In all cases, H2 production efficiencies are greater compared to undoped TiO2, since the metals are able to provide more reaction sites and can improve the charge separation. In addition, the use of bimetallic dopants can further improve the H2 evolution reaction.

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