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Sustain. Chem., Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2024) – 3 articles

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13 pages, 2157 KiB  
Review
Recent Progress in Turning Waste into Catalysts for Green Syntheses
by Konstantin Wink and Ingo Hartmann
Sustain. Chem. 2024, 5(1), 27-39; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/suschem5010003 - 16 Mar 2024
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Abstract
The recycling of catalysts has emerged as a key solution to address environmental pollution and the scarcity of natural resources. This dynamic is further reinforced by the growing industrial demand for catalysts and the urgent need to transition to more sustainable production methods. [...] Read more.
The recycling of catalysts has emerged as a key solution to address environmental pollution and the scarcity of natural resources. This dynamic is further reinforced by the growing industrial demand for catalysts and the urgent need to transition to more sustainable production methods. In the context of chemical transformations, the direct reuse of recycled catalysts for chemical applications in particular represents an elegant route towards greener syntheses. In this article, we review recent advancements in the recycling of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts since 2020, emphasizing the utilization of waste-derived catalysts for chemical reactions. In particular, we consider three primary sources of waste: electronic waste, spent lithium-ion batteries, and industrial wastewater. For each of these waste streams, different extraction methods are explored for their effectiveness in obtaining catalysts suitable for a broad spectrum of chemical reactions. These presented studies emphasize the potential of recycled catalysts to contribute to a sustainable and waste-efficient future. Full article
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14 pages, 642 KiB  
Perspective
A Perspective on Solar-Driven Electrochemical Routes for Sustainable Methanol Production
by Aaditya Pendse and Aditya Prajapati
Sustain. Chem. 2024, 5(1), 13-26; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/suschem5010002 - 6 Mar 2024
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Abstract
The transition towards sustainable and renewable energy sources is imperative in mitigating the environmental impacts of escalating global energy consumption. Methanol, with its versatile applications and potential as a clean energy carrier, a precursor chemical, and a valuable commodity, emerges as a promising [...] Read more.
The transition towards sustainable and renewable energy sources is imperative in mitigating the environmental impacts of escalating global energy consumption. Methanol, with its versatile applications and potential as a clean energy carrier, a precursor chemical, and a valuable commodity, emerges as a promising solution within the realm of renewable energy technologies. This work explores the integration of electrochemistry with solar power to drive efficient methanol production processes, focusing on electrochemical reduction (ECR) of CO2 and methane oxidation reaction (MOR) as pathways for methanol synthesis. Through detailed analysis and calculations, we evaluate the thermodynamic limits and realistic solar-to-fuel (STF) efficiencies of ECR and MOR. Our investigation encompasses the characterization of multijunction light absorbers, determination of thermoneutral potentials, and assessment of STF efficiencies under varying conditions. We identify the challenges and opportunities inherent in both ECR and MOR pathways, shedding light on catalyst stability, reaction kinetics, and system optimization, thereby providing insights into the prospects and challenges of solar-driven methanol synthesis, offering a pathway towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future. Full article
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12 pages, 3209 KiB  
Article
Waste Lignocellulosic Biomass as a Source for Bioethanol Production
by Klemen Rola, Sven Gruber, Darko Goričanec and Danijela Urbancl
Sustain. Chem. 2024, 5(1), 1-12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/suschem5010001 - 28 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Synthetically produced biofuels play a critical role in the energy transition away from fossil fuels. Biofuels could effectively lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribute to better air quality. One of these biofuels is bioethanol, which could act as a gasoline replacement. For [...] Read more.
Synthetically produced biofuels play a critical role in the energy transition away from fossil fuels. Biofuels could effectively lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribute to better air quality. One of these biofuels is bioethanol, which could act as a gasoline replacement. For this purpose, a simulation of bioethanol production through lignocellulosic biomass fermentation, focused on distillation, was carried out in simulation software Aspen Plus. Since the possibility of absolute ethanol production through distillation is limited by the ethanol–water azeotrope, pressure swing distillation (PSD) was used to obtain fuel-grade ethanol (EtOH) with a fraction of 99.60 wt.%. The flowsheet was optimised with NQ analysis, which is a simple optimisation method for distillation columns. We found that the PSD has the potential to concentrate the EtOH to a desired value, while simultaneously removing other unwanted impurities whose presence is a consequence of pretreatment and fermentation processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Biomass Transformation: Sustainable Development)
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