Nanomaterial Catalysts for Clean Energy Conversion and Carbon Neutrality

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 3669

Special Issue Editors


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School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
Interests: battery design; nanomaterial; electrode; CO2 conversion
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Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, C.so Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Turin, Italy
Interests: nanotechnologies applied to biological systems (in particular sensors, lab on chip, and organ on chip); graphene and 2D materials for energy and environment (solar cells, supercapacitors); nanomaterials for microelectronics; nanomaterials and nanostructures for CO2 trapping and reduction; multifunctional nanocomposites for 3D printing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The ever-growing human population, along with the rapid development of several countries, has resulted in a steady increase in energy demand. Currently, energy is obtained from fossil fuels, whose consumption releases CO₂ into the atmosphere. This increase in CO₂ concentration, associated with global warming, needs to be mitigated. One interesting approach to reducing CO₂ emissions consists of the capture, storage, and subsequent transformation of this molecule into high-value chemical products or fuels, which can be carried out by photochemical, thermochemical, biochemical, or electrochemical routes. These approaches can be performed at mild conditions for the reduction of CO₂ to organic compounds. In addition, the carbon dioxide reduction reaction (CO₂RR) can make use of the surplus of renewable electricity to produce valuable fuels and chemicals.

One of the most critical barriers to the practical application of this technology is its reaction complexity, leading to the production of CO, methane, methanol, formic acid, ethylene, ethanol, etc.; therefore, previous research efforts have mostly focused on developing nanostructural catalysts that are able to achieve the active, selective, and stable conversion of CO2 into a single-target product. Apart from the nature of metals (noble, transition and p-block), heteroatom-doped carbon, and other materials, the configuration of nano-catalysts and reactors has been found to play an important role in the CO2 reduction capability. This Special Issue, “Nanomaterial Catalysts for Clean Energy Conversion and Carbon Neutrality”, will gather and present a collection of relevant articles, which may also be published in a printed book format. We invite the submission of original research articles and reviews to this Special Issue. Research areas of interest include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Mechanism studies of CO₂ reduction;
  • Mechanism studies of the formation of major C1 and C2 products;
  • Surface crystallography and product selectivity;
  • Selectivity and rational design;
  • Conversion of CO₂ to chemicals, materials, and fuels;
  • Intermediate species during CO₂RR;
  • Energetics of the CO₂ reduction reaction;
  • CO₂ hydrogenation;
  • Catalysis theories and experiments.

Prof. Dr. César Augusto Correia de Sequeira
Prof. Dr. Zhong Jin
Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Pirri
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • CO2 reduction
  • formation of C1 and C2 products
  • nanostructural catalysts and their combinations
  • carbon-doped nanomaterials
  • innovative nano material catalysts
  • in situ and post-treatment doping
  • efficiency and selectivity
  • design of catalysts and catalysis systems
  • engineering electrode surfaces for CO₂RR
  • CO2 to fuel conversion

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 4473 KiB  
Article
Facile Synthesis of Heterogeneous Indium Nanoparticles for Formate Production via CO2 Electroreduction
by Ana Cristina Pérez-Sequera, Manuel Antonio Diaz-Perez, Mayra Anabel Lara Angulo, Juan P. Holgado and Juan Carlos Serrano-Ruiz
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(8), 1304; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13081304 - 7 Apr 2023
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Abstract
In this study, a simple and scalable method to obtain heterogeneous indium nanoparticles and carbon-supported indium nanoparticles under mild conditions is described. Physicochemical characterization by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron microscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed heterogeneous [...] Read more.
In this study, a simple and scalable method to obtain heterogeneous indium nanoparticles and carbon-supported indium nanoparticles under mild conditions is described. Physicochemical characterization by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron microscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed heterogeneous morphologies for the In nanoparticles in all cases. Apart from In0, XPS revealed the presence of oxidized In species on the carbon-supported samples, whereas these species were not observed for the unsupported samples. The best-in-class catalyst (In50/C50) exhibited a high formate Faradaic efficiency (FE) near the unit (above 97%) at −1.6 V vs. Ag/AgCl, achieving a stable current density around −10 mA·cmgeo−2, in a common H-cell. While In0 sites are the main active sites for the reaction, the presence of oxidized In species could play a role in the improved performance of the supported samples. Full article
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Review

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24 pages, 3084 KiB  
Review
From Traditional to New Benchmark Catalysts for CO2 Electroreduction
by Martina Serafini, Federica Mariani, Francesco Basile, Erika Scavetta and Domenica Tonelli
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(11), 1723; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13111723 - 24 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1640
Abstract
In the last century, conventional strategies pursued to reduce or convert CO2 have shown limitations and, consequently, have been pushing the development of innovative routes. Among them, great efforts have been made in the field of heterogeneous electrochemical CO2 conversion, which [...] Read more.
In the last century, conventional strategies pursued to reduce or convert CO2 have shown limitations and, consequently, have been pushing the development of innovative routes. Among them, great efforts have been made in the field of heterogeneous electrochemical CO2 conversion, which boasts the use of mild operative conditions, compatibility with renewable energy sources, and high versatility from an industrial point of view. Indeed, since the pioneering studies of Hori and co-workers, a wide range of electrocatalysts have been designed. Starting from the performances achieved using traditional bulk metal electrodes, advanced nanostructured and multi-phase materials are currently being studied with the main goal of overcoming the high overpotentials usually required for the obtainment of reduction products in substantial amounts. This review reports the most relevant examples of metal-based, nanostructured electrocatalysts proposed in the literature during the last 40 years. Moreover, the benchmark materials are identified and the most promising strategies towards the selective conversion to high-added-value chemicals with superior productivities are highlighted. Full article
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