Special Issue "Women in Catalysts"

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Leonarda Francesca Liotta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Nanostructured Materials, Palermo Research Division, CNR - ISMN, via Ugo La Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy
Interests: synthesis; characterization and structure-activity relationship of supported noble metal (Pt,Pd,Au) for oxidation reactions; metal-support interaction in gold catalysts for low-temperature CO and VOCs oxidation; use of gold for hydrogen purification by selective oxidation of carbon monoxide (PROX); development of Pd and Au catalysts for abatement at low temperature of VOCs and methane emitted by mobile sources; synthesis and characterization of bimetallic Ni-Au catalysts for hydrocarbon steam reforming reaction and syngas production; optimization of Co-based catalysts composition and preparation method for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Valeria La Parola
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Istituto Per Lo Studio Dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, Rome, Italy
Interests: catalysts for methane reforming reactions, especially dry reforming and partial oxidation; materials based on transition metal oxides, reducible oxides, supported metals; production of biodiesel using heterogeneous acid catalysts based on functionalized oxides

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Catalysis covers many aspects of today’s industrial and environmental processes. Indeed, 85%–90% of industrial processes include at least one catalytic step. Catalysis is important in fine chemical production, pharmaceutical synthesis, in the refinement of petroleum, and in the manufacturing of synthetic fibers and plastics. Environmental catalysis is crucial in the decrease in atmospheric pollution, in the development of environmentally friendly technologies, and in the advancement in the generation and exploitation of new ways to generate energy. Biomass valorisation, biomass catalytic process and biomass photo-electrocatalytic reforming are receiving increasing attention. Electrocatalysis is also playing a fundamental role in the development of sustainable and environmentally friendly industrial technologies.

Given the variety of fields in which it is involved, catalysis is a transverse subject. Its field ranges from inorganic, organo-metallic, organic and physical chemistries, chemical engineering, surface science, solid-state chemistry, and theoretical chemistry. Many interconnections between two or more of these fields are involved in the design of a catalyst or in the tuning of a catalytic process.

This Special Issue aims to cover different facets of catalysis. We decided to use research led by women as the main thread of discussion. This topic was chosen not because we think that women need to be treated as a special scientist category, but because we want to give insight into the central issues of catalysis from a variety of perspectives. We think that both men and women contribute in particular ways to the developments and achievements in the field. This issue wants to see the perspective of women who, thanks to their feminine savoir faire, surely make catalysis more appealing!

Welcome to join our Catalysts Webinar about Women in Catalysts (https://catalysts-7.sciforum.net/)! 8 March 2021 at 11.00am CET | 5.00am EST | 6.00pm CST Asia. Register here: https://catalysts-7.sciforum.net/#webinar_registration.

Dr. Leonarda Francesca Liotta
Dr. Valeria La Parola
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 papers will be 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. Catalysts is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 2200 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

  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • environmental catalysis
  • fine chemicals
  • energy
  • biomass conversion and valorisation
  • electrocatalysis
  • photocatalysis

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Article
Au/CeO2 Photocatalyst for the Selective Oxidation of Aromatic Alcohols in Water under UV, Visible and Solar Irradiation
Catalysts 2021, 11(12), 1467; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/catal11121467 - 30 Nov 2021
Viewed by 284
Abstract
Au nanoparticles supported on CeO2 have been prepared and investigated as photocatalysts for the photocatalytic selective oxidation of benzyl alcohol and 4-methoxybenzyl alcohol to the correspondent benzaldehydes, in aqueous suspensions and room conditions under UV, visible and natural solar light irradiation. Au [...] Read more.
Au nanoparticles supported on CeO2 have been prepared and investigated as photocatalysts for the photocatalytic selective oxidation of benzyl alcohol and 4-methoxybenzyl alcohol to the correspondent benzaldehydes, in aqueous suspensions and room conditions under UV, visible and natural solar light irradiation. Au nanoparticles have been supported by impregnation (1 and 3 wt.%) on two types of CeO2 (i.e., a commercial one and a home prepared oxide obtained in the presence of NaOH as precipitation agent). The Au impregnated samples showed strong visible radiation absorption at 565–570 nm associated to localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR). The bare CeO2 samples are activated by UV light and resulted virtually inactive under visible irradiation, whereas the presence of Au improved both the conversion of the alcohols and the selectivity of the reaction towards the aldehyde, giving rise to good results, particularly under visible and natural solar light irradiation. The activity of the materials increased by increasing the Au content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Catalysts)
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Article
Cu/ZSM5-Geopolymer 3D-Printed Monoliths for the NH3-SCR of NOx
Catalysts 2021, 11(10), 1212; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/catal11101212 - 09 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 574
Abstract
Geopolymer-based monoliths manufactured by direct ink writing, containing up to 60% by weight of presynthesized ZSM5 with low Si/Al ratio, were investigated as structured catalysts for the NH3-SCR of NOx. Copper was introduced as the active metal by ion exchange after [...] Read more.
Geopolymer-based monoliths manufactured by direct ink writing, containing up to 60% by weight of presynthesized ZSM5 with low Si/Al ratio, were investigated as structured catalysts for the NH3-SCR of NOx. Copper was introduced as the active metal by ion exchange after a preliminary acid treatment of the monoliths. Monolithic catalysts were characterized by morphological (XRD and SEM), textural (BET and pore size distribution), mechanical (compressive strength), chemical (ICP–MS), redox (H2-TPR) and surface (NH3-TPD) analyses, showing the preservation of Cu-exchanged zeolite features in the composite monoliths. NH3-SCR tests, carried out on both monolithic and powdered samples in the temperature range 70–550 °C, confirmed that composite monoliths provide a very good activity and a high selectivity to N2 over the whole range of temperatures explored due to the hierarchical structure of the materials, in addition to a good mechanical resistance—mostly related to the geopolymer matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Catalysts)
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Article
Structural and Functional Behaviour of Ce-Doped Wide-Bandgap Semiconductors for Photo-Catalytic Applications
Catalysts 2021, 11(10), 1209; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11101209 - 09 Oct 2021
Viewed by 466
Abstract
Increasing the photocatalytic efficiency of earth-abundant wide-bandgap semiconductors is of high interest for the development of cheap but effective light-driven chemical conversion processes. In this study, the coupling of ZnO and TiO2 with low contents of the rare-earth Ce species aimed to [...] Read more.
Increasing the photocatalytic efficiency of earth-abundant wide-bandgap semiconductors is of high interest for the development of cheap but effective light-driven chemical conversion processes. In this study, the coupling of ZnO and TiO2 with low contents of the rare-earth Ce species aimed to assess the photo-catalytic performance of the two semiconductors (SC). Structural and optical characterizations were performed to estimate the effect of the different interactions between Zn2+, Ti4+ and Ce4+ ions, and how the photo-responsive behaviour of Ce-Ti and Ce-Zn composites was affected. Therefore, photo-catalytic tests were performed for all Ce-modified SC to assess both their photo-oxidative and photo-reductive properties. Amongst all the tested materials, only Zn-based samples resulted in being suitable for the photo-oxidation of the methylene blue (MB) organic pollutant in a synthetic-dependent fashion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Catalysts)
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Article
Activity of Ag/CeZrO2, Ag+K/CeZrO2, and Ag-Au+K/CeZrO2 Systems for Lean Burn Exhaust Clean-Up
Catalysts 2021, 11(9), 1041; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/catal11091041 - 28 Aug 2021
Viewed by 471
Abstract
Herein, the activity of Ag and bimetallic Au-Ag catalysts, supported over Ce0.85Zr0.15O2 (CZ), was investigated in a complex stream, whose components included CO, C3H8, NO, O2, and, optionally, [...] Read more.
Herein, the activity of Ag and bimetallic Au-Ag catalysts, supported over Ce0.85Zr0.15O2 (CZ), was investigated in a complex stream, whose components included CO, C3H8, NO, O2, and, optionally, an injection of water vapor. In such a stream, three of the possible reactions that can occur are CO oxidation, propane combustion, and NO oxidation. The aim of these studies was to explore whether silver, due to its strong affinity to oxygen, will counteract the stabilization of oxygen by potassium. The effect of the presence of potassium ions on the activity of the monometallic silver catalysts is beneficial in the complex stream without water vapor in all three studied reactions, although it is negligible in the model CO stream. It has been shown that water vapor strongly suppresses the activity of the Ag+K/CZ catalyst, much more so than that of the Ag/CZ catalyst. The second purpose of the work was to determine whether the negative effect of potassium ions on the activity of nanogold catalyst can be countered by the addition of silver. Studies in a model stream for CO oxidation have shown that, for a catalyst preloaded with gold, the effect of potassium is nulled by silver, and the activity of AuAg + 0.15 at%K/CZ and AuAg + 0.30 at%K/CZ is the same as that of the monometallic Au catalyst. Conversely, when the reaction is carried out in a complex stream, containing CO, C3H8, NO, O2, and water vapor, the presence of water vapor leads to higher CO conversion as well as increased NO2 formation and slightly suppresses the C3H8 combustion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Catalysts)
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Article
Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity of Hybrid [email protected]2/CN Nanocomposite for Organic Pollutant Degradation under Solar Light Irradiation
Catalysts 2021, 11(9), 1023; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/catal11091023 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 503
Abstract
The three-component hybrid (rGO/TiO2/CN) nanocomposite was prepared in order to enhance the photocatalytic properties of anatase TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) under solar-like irradiation. The rGO/TiO2/CN was prepared in a mixture of the reduced graphene oxide (rGO, 8 wt%), anatase [...] Read more.
The three-component hybrid (rGO/TiO2/CN) nanocomposite was prepared in order to enhance the photocatalytic properties of anatase TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) under solar-like irradiation. The rGO/TiO2/CN was prepared in a mixture of the reduced graphene oxide (rGO, 8 wt%), anatase TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs), and graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4, 16 wt%). It was self-assembled through the one-step hydrothermal method, followed by an annealing process. The photocatalyst was thoroughly characterized by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) nitrogen adsorption/desorption technique and UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). The photocatalytic activity of the TiO2, TiO2/rGO, TiO2/CN and hybrid rGO/TiO2/CN nanocomposite was studied through the degradation of a rhodamine B (RhB) aqueous solution under solar-like irradiation. The results showed that the highest photocatalytic activity was achieved by the rGO/TiO2/CN mixture, which can be attributed to the synergistic effect of the incorporation of both rGO and g-C3N4 with TiO2. Further, the influence of the pH value of the RhB dye aqueous solution and different water matrix (Milli-Q, tap, and alkaline water) on the photocatalytic efficiency of the rGO/TiO2/CN nanocomposite was examined. In addition, a recycle test was performed for hybrid [email protected]2/CN to investigate the effectiveness of the photodegradation of RhB dye in three successive cycles. The conducted results indicate that the pH value of RhB dye aqueous solution and water matrices play an important role in the photocatalytic degradation rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Catalysts)
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Article
Highly Selective Vapor and Liquid Phase Transfer Hydrogenation of Diaryl and Polycyclic Ketones with Secondary Alcohols in the Presence of Magnesium Oxide as Catalyst
Catalysts 2021, 11(5), 574; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/catal11050574 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 522
Abstract
MgO has been shown to catalyze an almost quantitative hydrogen transfer from 2-octanol as the hydrogen donor to benzophenone to form benzhydrol, a useful intermediate product in the pharmaceutical industry. The hydrogen transfer from a series of alcohols to the carbonyl group of [...] Read more.
MgO has been shown to catalyze an almost quantitative hydrogen transfer from 2-octanol as the hydrogen donor to benzophenone to form benzhydrol, a useful intermediate product in the pharmaceutical industry. The hydrogen transfer from a series of alcohols to the carbonyl group of benzophenone, its ten derivatives, four polycyclic ketones, and 2-naphthyl phenyl ketone was carried out in liquid (LP) or vapor phase (VP). The dependence of reactivity on the structure of the hydrogen donor, reaction temperature, donor-acceptor ratio, amount of catalyst, and the type and position of substituents has been established. For both reaction modes, optimal conditions for selective synthesis of the alcohols were determined and side reactions were investigated. The results indicate that the reactivity of the ketone is suppressed by the presence of a methyl substituent in the ortho position to a much greater extent in LP mode. A scale-up was demonstrated in the liquid phase mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Catalysts)
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Review

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Review
Halloysite Nanotubes: Smart Nanomaterials in Catalysis
Catalysts 2022, 12(2), 149; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/catal12020149 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2022
Abstract
The use of clay minerals as catalyst is renowned since ancient times. Among the different clays used for catalytic purposes, halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) represent valuable resources for industrial applications. This special tubular clay possesses high stability and biocompatibility, resistance against organic solvents, and [...] Read more.
The use of clay minerals as catalyst is renowned since ancient times. Among the different clays used for catalytic purposes, halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) represent valuable resources for industrial applications. This special tubular clay possesses high stability and biocompatibility, resistance against organic solvents, and most importantly be available in large amounts at a low cost. Therefore, HNTs can be efficiently used as catalysts themselves or supports for metal nanoparticles in several catalytic processes. This review reports a comprehensive overview of the relevant advances in the use of halloysite in catalysis, focusing the attention on the last five years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Catalysts)
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Review
Recent Progress in the Steam Reforming of Bio-Oil for Hydrogen Production: A Review of Operating Parameters, Catalytic Systems and Technological Innovations
Catalysts 2021, 11(12), 1526; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/catal11121526 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 450
Abstract
The present review focuses on the production of renewable hydrogen through the catalytic steam reforming of bio-oil, the liquid product of the fast pyrolysis of biomass. Although in theory the process is capable of producing high yields of hydrogen, in practice, certain technological [...] Read more.
The present review focuses on the production of renewable hydrogen through the catalytic steam reforming of bio-oil, the liquid product of the fast pyrolysis of biomass. Although in theory the process is capable of producing high yields of hydrogen, in practice, certain technological issues require radical improvements before its commercialization. Herein, we illustrate the fundamental knowledge behind the technology of the steam reforming of bio-oil and critically discuss the major factors influencing the reforming process such as the feedstock composition, the reactor design, the reaction temperature and pressure, the steam to carbon ratio and the hour space velocity. We also emphasize the latest research for the best suited reforming catalysts among the specific groups of noble metal, transition metal, bimetallic and perovskite type catalysts. The effect of the catalyst preparation method and the technological obstacle of catalytic deactivation due to coke deposition, metal sintering, metal oxidation and sulfur poisoning are addressed. Finally, various novel modified steam reforming techniques which are under development are discussed, such as the in-line two-stage pyrolysis and steam reforming, the sorption enhanced steam reforming (SESR) and the chemical looping steam reforming (CLSR). Moreover, we argue that while the majority of research studies examine hydrogen generation using different model compounds, much work must be done to optimally treat the raw or aqueous bio-oil mixtures for efficient practical use. Moreover, further research is also required on the reaction mechanisms and kinetics of the process, as these have not yet been fully understood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Catalysts)
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Review
Homogeneous Catalyzed Valorization of Furanics: A Sustainable Bridge to Fuels and Chemicals
Catalysts 2021, 11(11), 1371; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/catal11111371 - 13 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 663
Abstract
The development of efficient biomass valorization is imperative for the future sustainable production of chemicals and fuels. Particularly, the last decade has witnessed the development of a plethora of effective and selective transformations of bio-based furanics using homogeneous organometallic catalysis under mild conditions. [...] Read more.
The development of efficient biomass valorization is imperative for the future sustainable production of chemicals and fuels. Particularly, the last decade has witnessed the development of a plethora of effective and selective transformations of bio-based furanics using homogeneous organometallic catalysis under mild conditions. In this review, we describe some of the advances regarding the conversion of target furanics into value chemicals, monomers for high-performance polymers and materials, and pharmaceutical key intermediates using homogeneous catalysis. Finally, the incorporation of furanic skeletons into complex chemical architectures by multifunctionalization routes is also described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Catalysts)
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Review
Sulfonic Acid-Functionalized Inorganic Materials as Efficient Catalysts in Various Applications: A Minireview
Catalysts 2021, 11(10), 1143; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/catal11101143 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 794
Abstract
Acid catalysis is widely used in the chemical industry, and nowadays many efforts are being focused on replacing the more common homogeneous catalysts with heterogeneous ones in order to make greener the industrial processes. In this perspective, sulfonic solid acid materials represent a [...] Read more.
Acid catalysis is widely used in the chemical industry, and nowadays many efforts are being focused on replacing the more common homogeneous catalysts with heterogeneous ones in order to make greener the industrial processes. In this perspective, sulfonic solid acid materials represent a valid alternative to the homogenous mineral acid in several acid catalyzed reactions. In this minireview, an overview of the recent advances on the preparation, stability and application of these materials is reported. Special attention is addressed to the sustainability of the considered processes, starting from the catalyst’s preparation, the use of green solvents and reducing the possible reaction steps. Ways to tackle the main drawback represented by easy leaching of acid groups are described. For an easy catalyst recovery, the use of a magnetic core in a catalyst particle, with the related synthetic approaches, is also illustrated. Finally, a section is dedicated to the principal characterization techniques to identify the structural properties of the catalysts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Catalysts)
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Review
Bibliometric Analysis on the Papers Dedicated to Microplastics in Wastewater Treatments
Catalysts 2021, 11(8), 913; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/catal11080913 - 28 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 634
Abstract
The presence of microplastics (MPs) in the environment is becoming a problem for soils and seas, as well as for the food chain of animals and humans. The scientific community has been called upon to contribute to solving the problem and several papers [...] Read more.
The presence of microplastics (MPs) in the environment is becoming a problem for soils and seas, as well as for the food chain of animals and humans. The scientific community has been called upon to contribute to solving the problem and several papers have been published, especially in the last decade. The aim of this work is to carry out a bibliometric analysis of the scientific literature dedicated to the problem of MPs, highlighting its course over the years, and to identify the sectors to which the research could be profitably addressed. The VOSviewer software has been used to perform the analysis of the data in which specific maps were used to represent the network of the relationships among countries, journals, organizations, authors, and keywords related to the investigated topic and subtopics. The results of the survey demonstrated that during the investigated range of time, most attention has been paid to the individuation of the MPs, and to marine pollution, while a gap seems to exist in the possible advanced oxidation processes specifically addressing the degradation of MPs and their derivates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Catalysts)
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