The Development of Sustainable Nanomaterials for Green Energy Applications

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2024) | Viewed by 2624

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department Physics and Astromony, Università degli Studi di Catania, Catania, Italy
Interests: nanostructures; semiconductors; sensing; energy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department Physics and Astromony, Università degli Studi di Catania, Catania, Italy
Interests: nanostructures; semiconductors; electrochemistry; green energy; energy storage

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The finite supply of fossil fuels, climate change, increasing pollution, and the growing global energy demand are great stimuli for the scientific community to develop renewable and sustainable energy solutions towards lower-carbon options and a carbon-neutral environment. The development of sustainable materials with favorable properties is key for such a transition. Within this scenario, nanotechnology can open the way to reduce production and materials cost by maintaining a high level of performance. As a matter of fact, materials at the nanometric scale show exceptional properties and higher catalytic activity compared with the bulk counterpart, due to the high surface-to-volume ratio and quantum confinement effects.

The present Special Issue on Nanomaterials aims to present comprehensive research outlining progress in the application of sustainable nanomaterials to improve the efficiency of green energy applications, such as their production, storage, transport, and utilization. We welcome novel results on the optimization of synthesis methods, the quantitative determination of nanostructures’ intrinsic properties, and the realization of efficient prototypes for green energy production, storage and conversion. We invite authors to contribute with original research articles covering the current progress in the application of sustainable nanomaterials in green energy applications. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Electrocatalysts for electrochemical and photoelectrochemical hydrogen and oxygen evolution reaction;
  • Transparent and conductive oxides for solar cell applications;
  • Energy harvesting (nanogenerators, piezoelectric materials, etc.);
  • Nanostructure-based electrodes for electrochemical and photoelectrochemical energy storage devices (supercapacitors, lithium-ion batteries, post-LIB solutions, etc.);
  • Solid electrolytes;
  • Proton or anion exchange membranes;
  • Solid-state H2 storage.

Prof. Salvo Mirabella
Dr. Giacometta Mineo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • nanostructures
  • sustainability
  • green energy
  • electrochemistry
  • photoelectrochemistry
  • hydrogen evolution reaction
  • oxygen evolution reaction
  • supercapacitors
  • lithium-ion batteries
  • solar cells
  • transparent conductive oxides

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 3372 KiB  
Article
Ultra-Low Loading of Gold on Nickel Foam for Nitrogen Electrochemistry
by Giuseppe Tranchida, Rachela G. Milazzo, Marco Leonardi, Silvia Scalese, Roberta A. Farina, Salvatore Lombardo and Stefania M. S. Privitera
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(21), 2850; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13212850 - 27 Oct 2023
Viewed by 864
Abstract
Ammonia (NH3) is widely used in various fields, and it is also considered a promising carbon free energy carrier, due to its high hydrogen content. The nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR), which converts nitrogen into ammonia by using protons from water as [...] Read more.
Ammonia (NH3) is widely used in various fields, and it is also considered a promising carbon free energy carrier, due to its high hydrogen content. The nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR), which converts nitrogen into ammonia by using protons from water as the hydrogen source, is receiving a lot of attention, since effective process optimization would make it possible to overcome the Haber–Bosch method. In this study, we used a solution-based approach to obtain functionalized porous Ni foam substrates with a small amount of gold (<0.1 mg cm−1). We investigated several deposition conditions and obtained different morphologies. The electrochemical performance of various catalysts on the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and NRR has been characterized. The ammonia production yield was determined by chronoamperometry experiments at several potentials, and the results showed a maximum ammonia yield rate of 20 µg h−1 mgcat−1 and a Faradaic efficiency of 5.22%. This study demonstrates the potential of gold-based catalysts for sustainable ammonia production and highlights the importance of optimizing deposition conditions to improve the selectivity toward HER. Full article
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17 pages, 5536 KiB  
Article
Device Simulation of Highly Stable and 29% Efficient FA0.75MA0.25Sn0.95Ge0.05I3-Based Perovskite Solar Cell
by Hussein Sabbah and Zaher Abdel Baki
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(9), 1537; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13091537 - 3 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1378
Abstract
A new type of perovskite solar cell based on mixed tin and germanium has the potential to achieve good power conversion efficiency and extreme air stability. However, improving its efficiency is crucial for practical application in solar cells. This paper presents a quantitative [...] Read more.
A new type of perovskite solar cell based on mixed tin and germanium has the potential to achieve good power conversion efficiency and extreme air stability. However, improving its efficiency is crucial for practical application in solar cells. This paper presents a quantitative analysis of lead-free FA0.75MA0.25Sn0.95Ge0.05I3 using a solar cell capacitance simulator to optimize its structure. Various electron transport layer materials were thoroughly investigated to enhance efficiency. The study considered the impact of energy level alignment between the absorber and electron transport layer interface, thickness and doping concentration of the electron transport layer, thickness and defect density of the absorber, and the rear metal work function. The optimized structures included poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) as the hole transport layer and either zinc oxide (ZnO) or zinc magnesium oxide (Zn0.7Mg0.3O) as the electron transport layer. The power conversion efficiency obtained was 29%, which was over three times higher than the initial structure. Performing numerical simulations on FA0.75MA0.25Sn0.95Ge0.05I3 can significantly enhance the likelihood of its commercialization. The optimized values resulting from the conducted parametric study are as follows: a short-circuit current density of 30.13 mA·cm−2), an open-circuit voltage of 1.08 V, a fill factor of 86.56%, and a power conversion efficiency of 28.31% for the intended solar cell. Full article
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