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Multifunctional 3D photocatalytic systems for environmentally friendly sustainable technologies


Will be prepared a high-surface area activated carbon 3D network for utilization as a platform to grow a thin TiO2 nanofilm. It will give rise to optimal photocatalysts based on the Z-scheme heterojunction model, taking advantage of the excellent photocatalytic performance of TiO2, and the superior conversion of light in the confined nanospace of carbon materials. The development of a controlled porous network and well-defined surface chemistry (including a well-dispersed TiO2 film) will provide a bifunctional system able to adsorb and convert simultaneously i) CO2 into value-added chemicals, and ii) water pollutants into harmless compounds. Based on these premises, the main output of the project will be to integrate these components into a single device to get improved photocatalysts for environmentally critical reactions and to be tested under laboratory relevant conditions. The development of extended heterojunctions will provide a charge separation of the photogenerated species, a slow recombination, and the possibility to modulate the light absorption features in the nanoporous cavities of the activated carbon material. On the other hand, the development of high-surface area activated carbon materials to be used as a platform for these Z-heterojunctions will provide a multifunctional system able to achieve an extremely large adsorption/trapping capacity for the target molecules (preferentially in the inner microporous structure), while larger pores, modified with a TiO2 thin film, will act as nanoreactors to convert the adsorbed species into non-toxic or value-added products. The development of this technology is crucial to mitigate CO2 emissions to the atmosphere though CO2 capture and conversion, and to remediate water pollution worldwide. In addition, this technology may decrease or even eliminate the emergent pollutants present in the several effluents. (AU)

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