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Special Issue "Exclusive Papers of the Editorial Board Members (EBMs) of the Green Chemistry Section of Molecules"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Giancarlo Cravotto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Turin, Department of Drug Science and Technology, via P. Giuria 9, 10125 Turin, Italy
Interests: enabling technologies ind food extraction and processing; microwaves; ultrasound; hydrodinamic cavitation; SC-CO2; green solvents; bioactive natural products
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Molecules is dedicated to recent advances in green chemistry research areas and comprises a diverse selection of exclusive papers of the Editorial Board Members (EBMs) of the Green Chemistry Section. It focuses on highlighting recent interesting investigations conducted in the laboratories of our section’s EBMs and represents our section as an attractive open-access publishing platform for Green chemistry research data.

Prof. Dr. Giancarlo Cravotto
Guest Editor

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. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2000 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.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Toxicity of Zn-Fe Layered Double Hydroxide to Different Organisms in the Aquatic Environment
Molecules 2021, 26(2), 395; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26020395 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 939
Abstract
The application of layered double hydroxide (LDH) nanomaterials as catalysts has attracted great interest due to their unique structural features. It also triggered the need to study their fate and behavior in the aquatic environment. In the present study, Zn-Fe nanolayered double hydroxides [...] Read more.
The application of layered double hydroxide (LDH) nanomaterials as catalysts has attracted great interest due to their unique structural features. It also triggered the need to study their fate and behavior in the aquatic environment. In the present study, Zn-Fe nanolayered double hydroxides (Zn-Fe LDHs) were synthesized using a co-precipitation method and characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and nitrogen adsorption-desorption analyses. The toxicity of the home-made Zn-Fe LDHs catalyst was examined by employing a variety of aquatic organisms from different trophic levels, namely the marine photobacterium Vibrio fischeri, the freshwater microalga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, the freshwater crustacean Daphnia magna, and the duckweed Spirodela polyrhiza. From the experimental results, it was evident that the acute toxicity of the catalyst depended on the exposure time and type of selected test organism. Zn-Fe LDHs toxicity was also affected by its physical state in suspension, chemical composition, as well as interaction with the bioassay test medium. Full article
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Article
Room Temperature Ionic Liquids in Asymmetric Hetero-Ene Type Reactions: Improving Organocatalyst Performance at Lower Temperatures
Molecules 2021, 26(2), 355; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26020355 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) have been widely used as (co)solvents in several catalytic processes modifying, in most of the cases, the catalyst activity and/or the selectivity for the studied reactions. However, there are just a few examples of their use in hydrogen [...] Read more.
Room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) have been widely used as (co)solvents in several catalytic processes modifying, in most of the cases, the catalyst activity and/or the selectivity for the studied reactions. However, there are just a few examples of their use in hydrogen bonding organocatalysis. In this paper, we show the positive effect of a set of imidazole-based ionic liquids ([bmim]BF4 and [hmim]PF6) in the enantioselective addition of formaldehyde tert-butylhydrazone to prochiral α-keto esters catalyzed by a sugar-based chiral thiourea. Reactions performed in the presence of low percentages of RTILs led to an increase of the catalyst activity, thereby making possible to work at lower temperatures. Thus, the chiral tert-butyl azomethyl tertiary alcohols could be obtained with moderate to good conversions and higher enantioselectivities for most of the studied substrates when using up to 30 vol% of [hmim]PF6 as a cosolvent in processes performed in toluene. Full article
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Article
More Efficient Prussian Blue Nanoparticles for an Improved Caesium Decontamination from Aqueous Solutions and Biological Fluids
Molecules 2020, 25(15), 3447; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25153447 - 29 Jul 2020
Viewed by 998
Abstract
Any release of radioactive cesium-137, due to unintentional accidents in nuclear plants, represents a dangerous threat for human health and the environment. Prussian blue has been widely studied and used as an antidote for humans exposed to acute internal contamination by Cs-137, due [...] Read more.
Any release of radioactive cesium-137, due to unintentional accidents in nuclear plants, represents a dangerous threat for human health and the environment. Prussian blue has been widely studied and used as an antidote for humans exposed to acute internal contamination by Cs-137, due to its ability to act as a selective adsorption agent and to its negligible toxicity. In the present work, the synthesis protocol has been revisited avoiding the use of organic solvents to obtain Prussian blue nanoparticles with morphological and textural properties, which positively influence its Cs+ binding capacity compared to a commercially available Prussian blue sample. The reduction of the particle size and the increase in the specific surface area and pore volume values compared to the commercial Prussian blue reference led to a more rapid uptake of caesium in simulated enteric fluid solution (+35% after 1 h of contact). Then, after 24 h of contact, both solids were able to remove >98% of the initial Cs+ content. The Prussian blue nanoparticles showed a weak inhibition of the bacterial luminescence in the aqueous phase and no chronic detrimental toxic effects. Full article
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Review

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Review
Guayule (Parthenium argentatum A. Gray), a Renewable Resource for Natural Polyisoprene and Resin: Composition, Processes and Applications
Molecules 2021, 26(3), 664; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26030664 - 27 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1043
Abstract
Natural rubber is an essential material, especially for plane and truck tyres but also for medical gloves. Asia ranks first in the production of natural rubber, of which the Hevea tree is currently the sole source. However, it is anticipated that this source [...] Read more.
Natural rubber is an essential material, especially for plane and truck tyres but also for medical gloves. Asia ranks first in the production of natural rubber, of which the Hevea tree is currently the sole source. However, it is anticipated that this source alone will not be able to fulfill the growing demand. Guayule, a shrub native to northern Mexico and southern United States, may also contribute. This plant not only contains polyisoprene, but also resin, a mixture of lipids and terpenoids. This review summarizes various aspects of this plant, from the usage history, botanical description, geographical distribution and cultivation practices, down to polyisoprene and resin biosynthesis including their distribution within the plant and molecular composition. Finally, the main processes yielding dry rubber or latex are depicted, as well as the properties of the various extracts along with economic considerations. The aim is to provide a wide picture of current knowledge available about this promising crop, a good feedstock candidate for a multiple-product biorefinery. Full article
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Review
Degradation of Antibiotics in Wastewater: New Advances in Cavitational Treatments
Molecules 2021, 26(3), 617; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26030617 - 25 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1041
Abstract
Over the past few decades, antibiotics have been considered emerging pollutants due to their persistence in aquatic ecosystems. Even at low concentrations, these pollutants contribute to the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance, while their degradation is still a longstanding challenge for wastewater treatment. In [...] Read more.
Over the past few decades, antibiotics have been considered emerging pollutants due to their persistence in aquatic ecosystems. Even at low concentrations, these pollutants contribute to the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance, while their degradation is still a longstanding challenge for wastewater treatment. In the present literature survey, we review the recent advances in synergistic techniques for antibiotic degradation in wastewater that combine either ultrasound (US) or hydrodynamic cavitation (HC) and oxidative, photo-catalytic, and enzymatic strategies. The degradation of sulfadiazine by HC/persulfate (PS)/H2O2/α-Fe2O3, US/PS/Fe0, and sono-photocatalysis with [email protected] nanocomposites processes; the degradation of tetracycline by US/H2O2/Fe3O4, US/O3/goethite, and HC/photocatalysis with TiO2 (P25) sono-photocatalysis with rGO/CdWO4 protocols; and the degradation of amoxicillin by US/Oxone®/Co2+ are discussed. In general, a higher efficiency of antibiotics removal and a faster structure degradation rate are reported under US or HC conditions as compared with the corresponding silent conditions. However, the removal of ciprofloxacin hydrochloride reached only 51% with US-assisted laccase-catalysis, though it was higher than those using US or enzymatic treatment alone. Moreover, a COD removal higher than 85% in several effluents of the pharmaceutical industry (500–7500 mg/L COD) was achieved by the US/O3/CuO process. Full article
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Review
Recent Strategies and Applications for l-Asparaginase Confinement
Molecules 2020, 25(24), 5827; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25245827 - 10 Dec 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1512
Abstract
l-asparaginase (ASNase, EC 3.5.1.1) is an aminohydrolase enzyme with important uses in the therapeutic/pharmaceutical and food industries. Its main applications are as an anticancer drug, mostly for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) treatment, and in acrylamide reduction when starch-rich foods are cooked at [...] Read more.
l-asparaginase (ASNase, EC 3.5.1.1) is an aminohydrolase enzyme with important uses in the therapeutic/pharmaceutical and food industries. Its main applications are as an anticancer drug, mostly for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) treatment, and in acrylamide reduction when starch-rich foods are cooked at temperatures above 100 °C. Its use as a biosensor for asparagine in both industries has also been reported. However, there are certain challenges associated with ASNase applications. Depending on the ASNase source, the major challenges of its pharmaceutical application are the hypersensitivity reactions that it causes in ALL patients and its short half-life and fast plasma clearance in the blood system by native proteases. In addition, ASNase is generally unstable and it is a thermolabile enzyme, which also hinders its application in the food sector. These drawbacks have been overcome by the ASNase confinement in different (nano)materials through distinct techniques, such as physical adsorption, covalent attachment and entrapment. Overall, this review describes the most recent strategies reported for ASNase confinement in numerous (nano)materials, highlighting its improved properties, especially specificity, half-life enhancement and thermal and operational stability improvement, allowing its reuse, increased proteolysis resistance and immunogenicity elimination. The most recent applications of confined ASNase in nanomaterials are reviewed for the first time, simultaneously providing prospects in the described fields of application. Full article
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