The conference featured 24 symposia across five thematic clusters and served as a bridge between fundamental materials research and practical applications. An oral presentation by Prof. Dr. Juan Carlos Colmenares, with co-authors Swaraj Rashmi Pradhan and Dariusz Łomot, titled “Modification of TiO2 by Bimetallic Nanoparticles for Selective Oxidation of Aromatic Alcohols,” explored the development of a photocatalytic system to valorize lignin, a by-product of paper and pulp industries and bio-refineries.
Their research enhanced TiO2’s photocatalytic performance under visible light by synthesizing Cu-Au/TiO2 and Fe-Au/TiO2 nanoparticles. The Cu-Au/TiO2 catalyst exhibited remarkable selectivity (100% benzaldehyde) at a 60% benzyl alcohol conversion rate under UV light, attributed to its unique properties, including a larger pore size (6.8 nm).
Ultrasound-assisted nanoparticle deposition increased liquid-phase turbulence and surface area, improving catalyst performance. Crucially, the study uncovered ligand-to-metal charge transfer (LMCT) complexes between TiO2 and aromatic ring-linked methoxy and hydroxyl groups, enabling catalyst activation under visible light.
This research paves the way for the design of bimetallic TiO2 catalyst-coated microreactors, offering sustainable solutions for lignin valorization under visible light. It represents a vital step toward leveraging advanced materials for a greener future.
This work is supported by the National Science Centre in Poland within SonataBis 5 Project No.2015/18/E/ST5/00306.
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