The use of ultrasound has improved, among others, the mass transfer and facilitate penetration of the metal precursor into the pores of the carriers. Impregnation with metals (Fe/or Cr and Pt/or Pd) is aimed at activation of these materials in visible light, thus improving both, their photocatalytic properties and better use of solar energy. Properties of the prepared materials are characterized through physicochemical methods and photocatalytic test reactions.
The complete and precise physicochemical characterization of materials, combined with the knowledge on the photocatalytic activity/selectivity will inform us about how the interaction among the components of each hybrid oxides, synthesized in an original procedure, affects their usefulness in the pioneering approach of biomass photocatalytic transformation to obtain compounds of high added value [2-5].
We believe that the effectiveness of this innovative idea in the removal of organic contaminants in water with the parallel biomass conversion into useful molecules will contribute to the global fight against water pollution and the energy crisis. Based on the fact that over one billion people in the world suffer from lack of access to clean water , it is no doubt that the goals of this project are very important.
The series of prepared hybrid materials have not yet been investigated in any catalytic process, and in particular, in the aqueous phase selective photo-oxidation of cellulose-derived compounds. It should be noted that heterogeneous photocatalysis is one of the best methods used in environmental protection, especially in the treatment of industrial and municipal waste water .
The main aim of this research is the use of a novel method based on the transition metal grafting on the surface of USY zeolite (Si/Al high atomic ratio) and fumed silica by ultrasonic-assisted impregnation and a photoultrasound procedure . This project will examine the entire spectrum of physical and chemical properties of the prepared materials in the selective photocatalytic conversion of biomass-derived lignocellulosic compounds (glucose/ or xylose as model compounds of food-derived organic wastes of water). The proposed hybrid materials, depending on the method of preparation, have very interesting physicochemical and photocatalytic properties (preliminary results, already published under the ongoing project, are promising [2-5]).
Prof Dr Colmenares would like to thank the Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant within the 7th European Community Framework Programme and also the 2012–2014 science financial resources, granted for the international co-financed project implementation (Project Nr. 473/7.PR/2012, Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland).