In the present review, we would like to draw the reader’s attention to the polymer-based hybrid materials used in photocatalytic processes for efficient degradation of organic pollutants in water. These inorganic – organic materials exhibit unique physicochemical properties due to the synergistic effect originating from the combination of individual elements, i.e., photosensitive metal oxides and polymeric supports. The possibility of merging the structural elements of hybrid materials allows for improving photocatalytic performance through (1) an increase in the light-harvesting ability; (2) a reduction in charge carrier recombination; and (3) prolongation of the photoelectron lifetime. Additionally, the great majority of polymer materials exhibit a high level of resistance against ultraviolet irradiation and improved corrosion resistance. Taking into account that the chemical and environmental stability of the hybrid catalyst depends, to a great extent, on the functional support, we highlight benefits and drawbacks of natural and synthetic polymer-based photocatalytic materials and pay special attention to the fact that the accessibility of synthetic polymeric materials derived from petroleum may be impeded due to decreasing amounts of crude oil. Thus, it is necessary to look for cheap and easily available raw materials like natural polymers that come from, for instance, lignocellulosic wastes or crustacean residues to meet the demand of the “plastic” market.
Juan Carlos Colmenares and Ewelina Kuna. Molecules, 22(5)(2017) 790; doi:10.3390/molecules22050790 Open Access!!! http://www.mdpi.com/1420 – 3049/22/5/790
Sign-up for our science Newsletter