A new photo-biorefinery integrated approach called PHOTO-LGMEN will be presented to remark the potential of biochar-based sustainable catalysis and photocatalysis considering energy production and environmental considerations. Examples of liquid and gas molecules production will be presented. A remarkable increase in the photoproduction of H2 on Au-TiO2/biochars under visible irradiation was found up to a factor about 3 times higher than the commercial catalyst free of biochars. This increase in photoactivity was attributed to a faster injection of hot electrons from Au nanoparticles to TiO2 consequence of the localized plasmon of resonance of Au. This is promoted by the stabilization of charges in TiO2 by the heterojunction with basic surface functionalized groups in carbons. Biomass- derived molecules such as furfural, chitosane, and saccharose were used to prepare hybrid C-TiO2 materials by solvothermal synthesis. Hybrid TiO2-C supports led to an important enhancement in the catalytic activity of Pd-based catalysts in the electrooxidation of formic acid with a maxima density power up to 3.3 times higher than the same catalyst on a commercial carbon.
Pd-based catalysts supported on hybrid Biochar-TiO2 supports can also be designed to control the selectivity of phenol hydrogenation to cyclohexanone or cyclohexanol (up to 100% yield) by controlling the chemical nature of the biochar supports. It was found up to 10 times higher activity in the photodegradation of methylene blue under visible-irradiated Biochar-based/TiO2 materials that the standard semiconductor. It has been showed that the surface chemistry besides texture can be tailored to promote an enhancement in the photocatalytic activity of photoactive semiconductors. Finally, recent works on the selective photoconversion of glycerol and furfural-derivatives will be presented. It can be concluded that carbon-based materials can be used for the sustainable catalysis and photocatalysis processes related with clean energy production, green and selective catalytic processes, and for the environmental remediation of polluted water by solar technology.
It can be concluded that biochars-based materials show new perspectives for the sustainable catalysis and photocatalysis related with clean energy production, green and selective catalytic processes, and for the environmental remediation of polluted water by solar technology.