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Ni-Phosphide catalysts as versatile systems for gas-phase CO2 conversion: Impact of the support and evidences of structure-sensitivity

Zhang, Q; Pastor-Perez, L; Villora-Pico, JJ; Joyce, M; Sepulveda-Escribano, A; Duyar, MS; Reina, TR
Fuel, 323 (2022) 124301


We report for the first time the support dependent activity and selectivity of Ni-rich nickel phosphide catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation. New catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation are needed to commercialise the reverse water-gas shift reaction (RWGS) which can feed captured carbon as feedstock for traditionally fossil fuel-based processes, as well as to develop flexible power-to-gas schemes that can synthesise chemicals on demand using surplus renewable energy and captured CO2. Here we show that Ni2P/SiO2 is a highly selective catalyst for RWGS, producing over 80% CO in the full temperature range of 350-750 degrees C. This indicates a high degree of suppression of the methanation reaction by phosphide formation, as Ni catalysts are known for their high methanation activity. This is shown to not simply be a site blocking effect, but to arise from the formation of a new more active site for RWGS. When supported on Al2O3 or CeAl, the dominant phase of as synthesized catalysts is Ni12P5. These Ni12P5 catalysts behave very differently compared to Ni2P/SiO2, and show activity for methanation at low temperatures with a switchover to RWGS at higher temperatures (reaching or approaching thermodynamic equilibrium behaviour). This switchable activity is interesting for applications where flexibility in distributed chemicals production from captured CO2 can be desirable. Both Ni12P5/Al2O3 and Ni12P5/CeAl show excellent stability over 100 h on stream, where they switch between methanation and RWGS reactions at 50-70% conversion. Catalysts are characterized before and after reactions via X-ray Diffraction (XRD), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), temperature-programmed reduction and oxidation (TPR, TPO), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and BET surface area measurement. After reaction, Ni2P/SiO(2 )shows the emergence of a crystalline Ni12P5 phase while Ni12P5/Al2O3 and Ni12P5/CeAl both show the crystalline Ni3P phase. While stable activity of the latter catalysts is demonstrated via extended testing, this Ni enrichment in all phosphide catalysts shows the dynamic nature of the catalysts during operation. Moreover, it demonstrates that both the support and the phosphide phase play a key role in determining selectivity towards CO or CH4.

September, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2022.124301

Hydrogen production from landfill biogas: Profitability analysis of a real case study

Vidal-Barrero, F; Baena-Moreno, FM; Preciado-Cardenas, C; Villanueva-Perales, A; Reina, TR
Fuel, 324 (2002) 124438


Hydrogen is not only considered as a cornerstone within renewable energy portfolio but it is also a key enabler for CO2 valorisation being a central resource for industrial decarbonization. This work evaluates the profitability of hydrogen production via combined biogas reforming and water-gas shift reaction, based on a real case scenario for landfill biogas plant in Seville (Spain). A techno-economic model was developed based on a process model and the discounted cash-flow method. A biogas flow of 700 m(3)/h (input given by the landfill biogas plant) was used as plant size and the analysis was carried out for two different cases: (1) use of already available energy sources at the industrial plant, and (2) solar energy generation to power the process. The economic outputs obtained showed that under the current circumstances, this hydrogen production route is not profitable. The main reason is the relatively low current hydrogen prices which comes from fossil fuels. A revenues analysis indicates that hydrogen from biogas selling prices between 2.9 and 5.7 euro/kg would be needed to reach profitability, which are considerably higher than the current hydrogen cost (1.7 euro/kg). A subsidy scheme is suggested to improve the competitiveness of this hydrogen production process in the short-medium term. A cost analysis is also performed, revealing that electricity prices and investment costs have a high impact on the total share (23-40% and 8-22%, respectively). Other potential costs reduction such as catalyst, labour and manteinance & overhead are also evaluated, showing that cutting-down production costs is mandatory to unlock the potential of hydrogen generation from biogas. Our work showcases the techno-economic challenge that green energy policies face in the path toward sustainable societies.

September, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2022.124438

Influence of the carbon incorporation on the mechanical properties of TiB2 thin films prepared by HiPIMS

Sala, N; Abad, MD; Sanchez-Lopez, JC; Crugeira, F; Ramos-Masana, A; Colominas, C
International Journal of Refractory Metals & Hard Materials, 107 (2022) 105884


Nanostructured TiB2 and TiBC thin films with carbon contents up to 11 at. % were prepared by physical vapor deposition using high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) technology. The influence of carbon incorporation during the deposition of TiB2 coatings was investigated on the chemical composition, microstructure and mechanical properties by means of scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), x-ray diffraction (XRD), nanoindentation, scratch test, calotest and adhesion Daimler-Benz test. The results indicated that small additions of carbon up to 3 at. % improved the mechanical behavior and increased the adhesion of the TiB2 thin films. Hardnesses up to 37 GPa were reached and the adhesion of the coating to AISI D2 steel substrates increased from 11 to 18 N. XRD and XPS results showed that the carbon atoms are either occupying interstitial sites within the hexagonal structure of the TiB2 or forming bonds with titanium and boron atoms. The preferred orientation of the films determined by XRD also changed with the increasing carbon content in the (001) crystalline plane.

September, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmhm.2022.105884

Unraveling the Mo/HZSM-5 reduction pre-treatment effect on methane dehydroaromatization reaction

Lopez-Martin, A; Caballero, A; Colon, G
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 312 (2022) 121382


Reduction pre-treatment at different temperatures were performed over Mo/HZSM-5 system before methane dehydroaromatiztion reaction. We have shown the crucial effect of reduction temperature on the final catalytic performance. Outstanding improvement in the aromatics conversion has been attained. Thus, H-2 formation form methane cracking reaction seems to be hindered for pre-treated catalysts. As a consequence, the deposition of coke in these samples appeared also notably suppressed. The optimum performance has been achieved for reduction pre-treatment at 550 degrees C. For this temperature, we have observed that the fraction of reduced Mo species is higher.

September, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2022.121382

Overlooked pitfalls in CaO carbonation kinetics studies nearby equilibrium: Instrumental effects on calculated kinetic rate constants

Arcenegui-Troya, J; Duran-Martin, JD; Perejon, A; Valverde, JM; Maqueda, LAP; Jimenez, PES
Alexandria Engineering Journal, 61 (2022) 6129-6138


Due to its technological applications, such as CO2 capture, CaO carbonation kinetics has been extensively studied using a wide array of methods and experimental conditions. A complete understanding of carbonation kinetics is key to optimizing the operating conditions as well as to correctly design the carbonation reactor. However, there is yet no consensus on the reaction model and kinetic parameters that can best describe the CaO carbonation reaction. For instance, the value of the activation energy proposed in different works can vary up to 300%. In this work, we demonstrate that the strong influence of the thermodynamic equilibrium on CaO carbonation kinetics demands careful control of the experimental conditions to obtain meaningful kinetic parameters. Specifically, we explore the influence of three experimental parameters on carbonation kinetics: the gas flow rate, the CO2 partial pressure and the time required to fill the reactor after a gas change. We demonstrate that disregarding these aspects may lead to bogus conclusions on reaction kinetics, which could partly explain the considerable discrepancies found in the literature. The conclusions of this work are not only applicable to the process and experimental setup studied here but also to any study that involves the use of gas flow to drive a reaction.

August, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.aej.2021.11.043

Shepherding reaction intermediates to optimize H-2 yield using composite-doped TiO2-based photocatalysts

Barba-Nieto, I.; Colon, G; Fernández-García, M; Kubacka, A
Chemical Engineering Journal, 442 (2022) 136333


Optimization of Pt-promoted TiO2-based is key to promote the photocatalytic production of hydrogen using sacrificial alcohol molecules. Combination of doping and surface decoration of the mentioned base photoactive material is here exploited to maximize hydrogen yield. Using the quantum efficiency parameter, it is shown that the resulting composite system can boost activity up to 7.3 times within the whole methanol:water mixture ratio, yielding quantum efficiencies in the ca. 13-16 % range. The key role of the different components in generating charge carrier species and their use to trigger the sacrificial molecule evolution and control reaction kinetics are examined through an in-situ spectroscopic study. The study unveils the complex reaction mechanism, with generation of C1 to C3 molecules from different carbon-containing radicals, and interprets the physical origin of the huge H2 production enhancement occurring in doped-composite titania-based catalysts.

August, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2022.136333

Flame confinement in biomass combustion systems for particles abatement

Ciria, D; Orihuela, MP; Moreno-Naranjo, P; Chacartegui, R; Ramirez-Rico, J; Becerra, JA
Energy Conversion and Management, 264 (2022) 115706


This work explores the use of open-pore, inert ceramic foams with different pore sizes as particle abatement systems in small biomass combustion systems. Porous foams made of silicon carbide with pore sizes 10 to 60 pores-per-inch were installed in an in-house designed combustion unit operated with wood pellets. Their effects on the temperature distribution inside the chamber, particulate and gases emissions were studied using different airflow rates in the reaction-limited regime (low equivalence ratio) to minimise stoichiometric factors. The influence of pore size, foam position with respect to the flame and space velocity were assessed. The confinement of the flame with inert foams was found to substantially modify the temperature distribution in the combustion chamber, improve the air-fuel mixture, and favour the thermal decomposition of the pellet, leading to a reduction in particulate emissions when compared to free-flame combustion at the same experimental conditions. In general, the amount of particulate matter was found to decrease by up to one order of magnitude as the pore size of the foam was reduced, while the temperature gradient in the combustion chamber was increased. Nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide emissions were essentially unchanged, irrespectively of the pore size of the foam. It is expected that these values will be improved with longer residence times, as happens in operations with reduced excess air ratios. These results suggest that it is possible to control pollutants derived from domestic heating within the most restrictive current regulations on particulate emissions by integrating flame confinement designs with better operating practices and efficient abatement systems.

July, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2022.115706

Albero: An alternative natural material for solar energy storage by the calcium-looping process

Moreno, V; Arcenegui-Troya, J; Sanchez-Jimenez, P; Perejon, A; Chacartegui, R; Valverde, JM; Perez-Maqueda, LA
Chemical Engineering Journal, 440 (2022) 135707


Large-scale thermochemical energy storage (TCES) is gaining relevance as an alternative to current thermal energy storage systems in Concentrated Solar Power plants. Among the different systems, the reversible reaction between CaO and CO2 stands out due to the wide availability and low cost of the raw material: limestone. Direct solar absorption of the storage media would improve the efficiency of solar-to-thermal energy storage due to reduced thermal transfer barriers, but the solar optical absorption of CaCO3 is poor. In this work, we propose the use of a Ca-rich calcarenite sedimentary rock so-called albem as an alternative to limestone. We demonstrate that this reddish material exhibits an average solar absorptance that is approximately ten times larger than limestone. Moreover, the multicycle carbonation/calcination performance under different experimental conditions has been studied by thermogravimetry, and similar values to those exhibited for limestone have been obtained. Besides, the material is cheap (6 Elton), and simulations showed that the use of this material would significantly improve the overall CaL-CSP efficiency at the industrial level.

July, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2022.135707

Greaseproof, hydrophobic, and biodegradable food packaging bioplastics from C6-fluorinated cellulose esters

Guzman-Puyol, S; Tedeschi, G; Goldoni, L; Benitez, JJ; Ceseracciu, L; Koschella, A; Heinze, T; Athanassiou, A; Heredia-Guerrera, JA
Food Hydrocolloids, 128 (2022) 107562


Tridecafluorononanoic acid (TFNA), a C6-fluorinated carboxylic acid, was esterified with cellulose at different molar ratios (0:1, 1:1, 2:1, and 3:1) in a trifluoroacetic acid (TFA):trifluoroacetic anhydride (TFAA):CHCl3 (2:1:1, v:v:v) solvent mixture. Free-standing films were obtained for all formulations and are presented as alternatives to composites and blends of paper with fluorinated molecules. Mechanical properties were investigated by tensile tests, and a plasticizer effect of fluorinated chains was observed. Interestingly, the wettability of these new cellulose derivatives was similar or even better than other common cellulose derivatives and fluorinated poly-mers employed in food packaging. Hydrodynamic properties were also improved by addition of TFNA, resulting in materials with water vapor permeability values comparable to other cellulose-based food packaging materials. In addition, films with the higher amounts of TFNA showed the required oil resistance for papers used in food packaging applications, as determined by the Kit Test. Finally, the biodegradation of these C6-fluorinated cel-lulose esters, assessed by biological oxygen demand (BOD) in seawater, was higher than typical bio-based polymers used in food packaging. The bioplastic synthesized at a molar ratio 1:1 (TFNA:cellulose) showed excellent performances in terms of greaseproof, hydrophobicity, ductility, and biodegradability, representing a sustainable alternative to typical plastics used in food packaging.

July, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2022.107562

The effect of support surface hydroxyls on selective CO methanation with Ru based catalysts

Martínez, LMT; Muñoza, A; Pérez, A; Laguna, OH; Bobadilla, LF; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Applied Catalysis A: General, 641 (2022) 118678


The aim of this work was to clarify the effect of the support on CO selective methanation with Ru/TiO2 catalysts. TPR, XRD and TEM measurements confirmed that the changes in the activity and selectivity should be ascribed to anatase:rutile ratio, RuO2 +TiO2 solid solution formation, as well as the metal content and the thermal treatment used. All these characteristics result in active and selective catalysts in which the suppression of the reverse water gas shift reaction was observed. The catalytic performance must be explained by both the formation of more active Ru species as a result of support influence and the higher Ru dispersion. The study allows to conclude that for CO activation the role of support surface hydroxyls seems to be determinant for both the activity and selectivity of Ru/TiO2 catalysts.

July, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcata.2022.118678

Photocatalytic oxidation of pollutants in gas-phase via Ag3PO4-based semiconductor photocatalysts: Recent progress, new trends, and future perspectives

Y. Naciri; A. Hsini; A. Bouziani; R. Djellabi; Z. Ajmal; M. Laabd; J.A. Navío; A. Mills; C.L. Bianchi; H.Li; B. Bakiz; A. Albourine
Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 52 (2022) 2339-2382


Air pollution has become a significant challenge for both developing and developed nations. due to its close association with numerous fatal diseases such as cancer, respiratory, heart attack, and brain stroke. Over recent years, heterogeneous semiconductor photocatalysis has emerged as an effective approach to air remediation due to the ease of scale-up, ready application in the field, use of solar light and ready availability of a number of different effective photocatalysts. To date, most work in this area has been conducted using UV-absorbing photocatalysts, such as TiO2 and ZnO; However, recent studies have revealed Ag3PO4 as an attractive, visible-light-absorbing alternative, with a bandgap of 2.43 eV. In particular, this material has been shown to be an excellent photocatalyst for the removal of many types of pollutants in the gas phase. However, the widespread application of Ag3PO4 is restricted due to its tendency to undergo photoanodic corrosion and the poor reducing power of its photogenerated conductance band electrons, which are unable to reduce O2 to superoxide •O2 −. These limitations are critically evaluated in this review. In addition, recent studies on the modification of Ag3PO4 via combination with the conventional heterojunctions or Z-scheme junctions, as well as the photocatalytic mechanistic pathways for enhanced gas-pollutants removal, are summarized and discussed. Finally, an overview is given on the future developments that are required in order to overcome these challenges and so stimulate further research into this promising field.

July, 2022 | DOI: 10.1080/10643389.2021.1877977

Steam-enhanced calcium-looping performance of limestone for thermochemical energy storage: The role of particle size

Arcenegui-Troya, J.; Sánchez-Jiménez, PE; Perejon, A; Valverde, JM; Pérez-Maqueda, LA
Journal of Energy Storage, 51 (2022) 104305


Steam injection has been proposed to attenuate the decay of CaO reactivity during calcium looping (CaL) under operating conditions compatible with carbon capture and storage. However, it is yet unknown whether the perceived advantages granted by steam hold under the distinct operating conditions required for the integration of the CaL process as a thermochemical energy storage system in Concentrating Solar Power Plants (CaL-CSP). Here, we study the influence of steam in conditions compatible with a CaL-CSP scheme and assess its impact when injected only during one stage; either calcination or carbonation, and also when it is present throughout the entire loop. The results presented here demonstrate that steam boosts the CaO multicycle performance in a CO2 closed loop to attain residual conversion values similar to those achieved at moderate temperatures under inert gas. Moreover, it is found that the enhancement in multicycle activity is more pronounced for larger particles.

July, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.est.2022.104305

Effect of Spatial Inhomogeneity on Quantum Trapping br

Esteso, V; Carretero-Palacios, S; Miguez, H
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 13 (2022) 4513-4519


An object that is immersed in afluid and approaching a substrate mayfind apotential energy minimum at a certain distance due to the balance between attractive and repulsiveCasimir-Lifshitz forces, a phenomenon referred to as quantum trapping. This equilibriumdepends on the relative values of the dielectric functions of the materials involved. Herein, westudy quantum trapping effects in planar nanocomposite materials and demonstrate that they arestrongly dependent on the characteristics of the spatial inhomogeneity. As a model case, weconsider spherical particles embedded in an otherwise homogeneous material. We propose aneffective medium approximation that accounts for the effect of inclusions andfind that anunprecedented and counterintuitive intense repulsive Casimir-Lifshitz force arises as a result ofthe strong optical scattering and absorption size-dependent resonances caused by their presence. Our results imply that the properanalysis of quantum trapping effects requires comprehensive knowledge and a detailed description of the potential inhomogeneity(caused by imperfections, pores, inclusions, and density variations) present in the materials involved

June, 2022 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.2c00807

Electron beam evaporated vs. magnetron sputtered nanocolumnar porous stainless steel: Corrosion resistance, wetting behavior and anti-bacterial activity

Bobaru, S; Rico-Gavira, V; Garcia-Valenzuela, A; Lopez-Santos, C; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR
Materials Today Communications, 31 (2022) 103266


Stainless steel (SS), widely used because of its outstanding corrosion protection properties, does not possess any particular anti-stain or anti-bacterial activity as required for household and sanitary applications. This work reports the fabrication of SS thin films that, keeping a similar corrosion resistance than the bulk material, presents hydrophobicity and anti-bacterial activity. These thin films are prepared at ambient temperature by physical vapor deposition (PVD), either electron beam evaporation (EBE) or magnetron sputtering (MS), at oblique angles (OAD). According to their scanning electron microcopy and atomic force microscopy analysis, the microstructure of the OAD-SS thin films consisted of tilted and separated nanocolumns defining a surface topology that, characterized by a high percentage of void space, varied with the deposition conditions and procedure, either EBE or MS. It has been shown that particularly the nanocolumnar MS-OAD thin films preserved and even improved the high corrosion resistance of compact SS, as determined by electrochemical analysis. Besides, all OAD-SS thin films depict hydrophobicity and a high antibacterial activity. These features, particularly remarkable for the MS-OAD thin films, have been related with their tip-like termination at the surface and the existence of large void spaces separating the nanocolumns. This topology appears to affect negatively the bacteria's deployment onto the surface and therefore the survival rate. Differences in the corrosion and antibacterial performance between EBE and MS-OAD thin films have been related with the specificities of these two PVD methods of thin film preparation. A relatively high abrasion resistance, as determined by abrasion tests, supports the use of MS-OAD thin films for the protection of commodity materials.

June, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.mtcomm.2022.103266

Comparative analysis of the germination of barley seeds subjected to drying, hydrogen peroxide, or oxidative air plasma treatments

Perea-Brenes, A; Gomez-Ramirez, A; Lopez-Santos, C; Oliva-Ramirez, M; Molina, R; Cotrino, J; García, JL; Cantos, M; González-Elipe, ARA
Plasma Processes and Polymers (2022) e2200035


Acceleration in germination time by 12-24 h for barley seeds treated with atmospheric air plasmas may have a significant economic impact on malting processes. In this study, the increase in germination rate and decrease in contamination level upon plasma treatment could not be directly correlated with any significant increase in the water uptake capacity, except for seeds exposed to mild drying treatment. A variety of germination essays have been carried out with seeds impregnated with an abscisic acid solution, a retarding factor of germination, treated with a peroxide solution, and/or subjected to the plasma and drying treatments. Results suggest that plasma and hydrogen peroxide treatments induce the formation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that affects the abscisic acid factor and accelerate the germination rate.

June, 2022 | DOI: 10.1002/ppap.202200035

Pursuing efficient systems for glucose transformation to levulinic acid: Homogeneous vs. heterogeneous catalysts and the effect of their co-action

Bounoukta, CE; Megias-Sayago, C; Ivanova, S; Ammari, F; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
FUEL, 318 (2022) 123712


Exploring available catalytic systems to understand their behavior is a must to properly design efficient catalysts aiming to definitively drive biomass from laboratory to industrial scale. Glucose transformation to levulinic acid involves cascade reactions with specific requirements, different active sites in each case and secondary reactions hard to avoid which are intrinsically linked to the catalyst's nature and reaction conditions. In the present work, homogeneous, heterogeneous and heterogeneous/homogeneous catalysts are considered with the unique goal of improving levulinic acid yield while understanding the catalytic behaviour of cost-effective catalysts. The choice of the catalytic systems and the effect of the main reaction parameters on activity and selectivity is studied and discussed.

June, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2022.123712

Vitrification rate and estimation of the optimum firing conditions of ceramic materials from raw clays: A review

Garzon, E; Perez-Villarejo, L; Eliche-Quesada, D; Martinez-Martinez, S; Sanchez-Soto, PJ
Ceramics International, 48 (2022) 15889-15898


The present work is a review concerning the previous investigations on the vitrification behaviour of clays containing kaolinite, feldspars, muscovite (illite/sericite) and pyrophyllite. These clays are silico-aluminous and have interesting properties as raw materials for structural ceramics. The mineralogical and chemical composition were determined. Then, the vitrification in these clay samples using pressed bodies was investigated by few researchers in the temperature range 800-1350 degrees C with 0.5-5.5 h of soaking times. The effect of heat treatments on the degree of vitrification in these clays was characterized by bulk densities of the ceramic bodies at the fired stage. It was found some variations of bulk density values for all these clays fired in the range 1000-1150 degrees C, with marked decreases of the values obtained at 1200 degrees C and 1300 degrees C. A first order reaction kinetics was applied to the analysis of vitrification of the ceramic bodies under isothermal heating. The method is based on experi-mental data of bulk densities, being proposed for the estimation of the relative degree of vitrification resulting from different firing schedules. The analysis considered the temperature dependence of the rate of vitrification following Arrhenius behaviour. Thus, the vitrification activation energy can be obtained. The activation energies for the physical process of vitrification in these clays ranged from 45 to 151 kJ/mol. The relative rates of vitrification or degree of vitrification attained during heating and soaking were calculated. The results suggested that the contribution of vitrification due to heating in all these clays was relatively small compared to the vitrification during soaking. However, it was evidenced that the influence of the particle sizes in the thermal behaviour of these clays cannot be neglected. The vitrification rate equations, as deduced in these previous studies, can be useful tools to estimate the optimum firing conditions of these clays, allowing the extension of this method to other clay types.

June, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2022.02.129

Electrocatalytic CO2 conversion to C-2 products: Catalysts design, market perspectives and techno-economic aspects

Ruiz-López, E; Gandara-Loe, J; Baena-Moreno, F; Reina, TR; Odriozola, JA
Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 161 (2022) 112329


The energy crisis caused by the incessant growth in global energy demand joint to its associated greenhouse emissions motivates the urgent need to control and mitigate atmospheric CO2 levels. Leveraging CO2 as carbon pool to produce value-added products represents a cornerstone of the circular economy. Among the CO2 utilization strategies, electrochemical reduction of CO2 conversion to produce fuels and chemicals is booming due to its versatility and end-product flexibility. Herein most of the studies focused on C-1 products although C-2 and C2+ compounds are chemically and economically more appealing targets requiring advanced catalytic materials. Still, despite the complex pathways for C2+ products formation, their multiple and assorted applications have motivated the search of suitable electrocatalysts. In this review, we gather and analyse in a comprehensive manner the progress made regarding C2+ products considering not only the catalyst design and the electrochemistry features but also techno-economic aspects in order to envisage the most profitable scenarios. This state-of-the-art analysis showcases that electrochemical reduction of CO2 to C-2 products will play a key role in the decarbonisation of the chemical industry paving the way towards a low-carbon future.

June, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2022.112329

Enhanced photocatalytic activity of TiO2/WO3 nanocomposite from sonochemical-microwave assisted synthesis for the photodegradation of ciprofloxacin and oxytetracycline antibiotics under UV and sunlight

Moghni, N; Boutoumi, H; Khalaf, H; Makaoui, N; Colon, G
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A-Chemistry, 428 (2022) 113848


The TiO2/WO3 photocatalysts were prepared by a simple assisted sonochemical -microwave combination. The wide surface and structural characterization of synthesized material confirmed that the adopted preparation method resulted in nanoparticulated crystallite anatase phase of TiO2 with a large surface area (> 200 m(2)/g), and the dispersion of WO3 on the surface of TiO2. The photoactivity was assessed for the photodegradation of ciprofloxacin (CIP) and oxytetracycline (OTC) antibiotics under UV and sunlight irradiation. The mineralization rate, toxicity assessment, pollutant concentration effect on photodegradation efficiency, and reusability potential under sunlight were all investigated. Results showed that TiO2 doped with 5 wt% of WO3 exhibited the best photocatalytic activity under UV (100% degradation) and solar light. Rate constants for CIP and OTC degradation showed that TiO2/WO3 significantly improved with respect to bare TiO2. The antibacterial study revealed that the photodegraded solutions became less toxic than the initial CIP and OTC solutions showing a significant decrease in the inhibition zone diameter and mineralization rates. The prepared TiO2/WO3 maintained high performances in the presence of high concentrations of pollutants as well as good stability after four consecutive uses. The increased photocatalytic activity is attributed to the incorporation of WO3, which extends the light absorption range and decreases the rate of electron -hole recombination.

June, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2022.113848

Evidence of new Ni-O-K catalytic sites with superior stability for methane dry reforming

Azancot, L; Blay, V; Blay-Roger, R; Bobadilla, LF; Penkova, A; Centeno, MA; Odriozola, JA
Applied Catalysis B-Environmental, 307 (2022) 121148


Liquid fuels produced via Fischer-Tropsch synthesis from biomass-derived syngas constitute an attractive and sustainable energy vector for the transportation sector. This study focuses on the role of potassium as a promoter in Ni-based catalysts for reducing coke deposition during catalytic dry reforming. The study provides a new structural link between catalytic performance and physicochemical properties. We identify new Ni-O-K chemical states associated with high stability in the reforming process, evidenced by different characterization techniques. The nickel particles form a core surrounded by a Ni-O-K phase layer (Ni@Ni-O-K) during the reduction of the catalyst. This phase likely presents an alkali-nickelate-type structure, in which nickel is stabilized in oxidation state + 3. The Ni-O-K formation induces essential changes in the electronic, physical, structural, and morphological properties of the catalysts, notably enhancing their long-term stability in dry reforming. This work thus provides new directions for designing more efficient catalysts for sustainable gas-to-liquids processes.

June, 2022 | DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2022.121148