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Nontronite/Titania photocatalysts applied to the degradation of emerging organic pollutants through combined processes via Heterogeneous Photocatalysis and Photo-Fenton reactions.

Grant number: 23/16040-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2024
Effective date (End): December 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Technology
Principal Investigator:Emerson Henrique de Faria
Grantee:Yan Pita Vedovato
Host Institution: Pró-Reitoria Adjunta de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação. Universidade de Franca (UNIFRAN). Franca , SP, Brazil


The group of clay minerals, characterized by their lamellar crystalline structure, is recognized for its unique physical and chemical properties and is widely distributed in soils, sediments, and sedimentary rocks globally. In addition to playing a crucial role in various industrial and geotechnical applications, these minerals have sparked special interest in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably SDG 6, which aims to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.Within this context, efforts have been made to explore the potential of materials based on nontronite containing titanium dioxide in heterogeneous photocatalysis and photo-Fenton processes. These studies have shown promising results, indicating the capability of these materials to degrade organic pollutants, aligning with the fundamental principles of sustainability.However, despite these advances, challenges remain to be addressed. Thus, the optimization of the synthesis conditions for these materials emerges as a pressing need, along with a deep understanding of the reaction mechanisms involved. Additionally, the evaluation of the feasibility of these materials on an industrial scale is a crucial aspect for the effective integration of these sustainable technologies.In this context, the main objective of the present project is to investigate the applicability of natural nontronite clay containing titanium dioxide, obtained through the sol-gel technique. The resulting synthesized materials will have the effects of titania concentration relative to nontronite and thermal treatment temperature evaluated. It is noteworthy that the materials will be assessed both in powder form and as coatings (obtained from nontronite/titania sols deposited on ceramic substrates). Physical-chemical characterization will be carried out using techniques such as X-ray diffraction, molecular absorption spectroscopy in the infrared region, thermal analysis, particle size evaluation by dynamic light scattering (DLS), and scanning electron microscopy. Catalytic activity tests will encompass not only heterogeneous photocatalysis and Fenton reactions but also explore the potential of the combined photo-Fenton mechanism against pollutants such as Loratadine and Sodium Diclofenac. Parameters such as pH, pollutant concentration, photocatalyst dosage, and photocatalytic reactor power will be evaluated, along with degradation assessment using solar light.

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