Biomass-derived nanoscopic catalysts for water treatment : Structure-property relationship investigation

Sammanfattning: Green Chemistry has received widespread interest due to its capacity to meet environmental and economic objectives. The Twelve Principles were proposed to better perform Green Chemistry and have become the guideline for solving many environmental issues. Water contamination has become a major global challenge in the 21st century. Millions of people die from diseases caused by drinking contaminated water. Nitrate, metal ions and dye are the most frequent contaminants. Nitrate in drinking water, after ingestion, is reduced to nitrite by the gastrointestinal tract and threatens human health. Dye-polluted water is usually nonbiodegradable and poisonous: the main criticism is that it is harmful to human health and hampers the photosynthesis rate of aquatic life. Metal ions generally lead to biological and physiological complications when they bind to cellular macromolecules. Therefore, efficient and eco-friendly purification technology is pressing to provide solutions for water purification. This thesis is set out to investigate the electro-/photo- catalytical water purification techniques using different catalysts. Efficient nitrate electrochemical reduction was achieved by using NDC materials, and the active sites were determined with the help of a comprehensive solid-state NMR supported by theoretical calculation and DFT calculations. Furthermore, the photochemical dye degradation was performed using cellulose-based hybrid bio-inorganic catalysts. The intentional maintenance of the surface functional groups on cellulose-based materials can promote dye degradation performance and, most importantly, achieve simultaneous removal of heavy metal ions aside from photo dye degradation. Additionally, this thesis proposed two possible synthesis strategies to obtain electro-/photo- catalysts using cellulose-based materials as renewable resources. The Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry guided the optimization of the synthesis route and raw material selectivity. Notably, the low-temperature synthesis of hybrid photocatalysts maintained the surface functional groups and preserved the kinetic mechanism of contaminants' adsorption on bio-substrate.  This research is likely to contribute to a deeper understanding of renewable materials with green synthesis methods for catalysts targeting water contamination treatment.

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