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1.
Photoelectrochemical activation of peroxymonosulfate using Sn-doped ▫$α-Fe_2O_3$▫ thin film for degradation of anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drug
Manel Machreki, Georgi Tyuliev, Dušan Žigon, Qian Guo, Takwa Chouki, Ana Belén Jorge Sobrido, Stoichko Dimitrov, Saim Emin, 2024, original scientific article

Abstract: Introduction of oxygen vacancies (OVs) has been investigated as a promising way to improve the electrical and catalytic characteristics of a hematite (α-Fe2O3) based photoelectrode. In this work, we develop a novel method for preparing porous Sn-doped α-Fe2O3 (Sn:Fe2O3) thin films with intrinsic OVs. The procedure included spin- coating an iron precursor onto a fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrate, followed by thermal treatment at elevated temperatures. The influence of Sn dopant on the optoelectronic properties of α-Fe2O3 was demonstrated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and photoelectrochemical (PEC) measurements. The combined effect of OVs and Sn doping was found to play a synergistic role in reducing the charge recombination’s. The Sn:Fe2O3 photoanodes were used as a dual catalyst to oxidise water and break down an anti-inflammatory drug called 2-(4- isobutylphenyl)propanoic acid (IBPA). The Sn:Fe2O3 thin film with a 30-minute heat treatment time displayed the highest incident photon-to-current efficiency. For the first time, Sn:Fe2O3 thin films were utilised in the effective PEC degradation of IBPA employing peroxymonosulfate (PMS) under visible light illumination. The hydroxyl radicals (•OH), singlet oxygen (1O2), photogenerated holes (h+), and sulfate radicals (SO4 • ) were discovered to be the main reactive species during PEC degradation. IBPA degradation and the formation of new compounds were verified using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The Lepidium sativum L phytotoxicity test reveals that PEC-treated wastewater with IBPA exhibits decreased toxicity.
Keywords: Sn-doped Fe2O3, oxygen vacancies, photoelectrochemical degradation, 2-(4-isobutylphenyl)propanoic acid, peroxymonosulfate
Published in RUNG: 10.01.2024; Views: 587; Downloads: 7
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2.
The role of lattice defects on the optical properties of TiO[sub]2 nanotube arrays for synergistic water splitting
Manel Machreki, Takwa Chouki, Georgi Tyuliev, Mattia Fanetti, Matjaž Valant, Denis Arčon, Matej Pregelj, Saim Emin, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: In this study, we report a facile one-step chemical method to synthesize reduced titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanotube arrays (NTAs) with point defects. Treatment with NaBH4 introduces oxygen vacancies (OVs) in the TiO2 lattice. Chemical analysis and optical studies indicate that the OV density can be significantly increased by changing reduction time treatment, leading to higher optical transmission of the TiO2 NTAs and retarded carrier recombination in the photoelectrochemical process. A cathodoluminescence (CL) study of reduced TiO2 (TiO2–x) NTAs revealed that OVs contribute significantly to the emission bands in the visible range. It was found that the TiO2 NTAs reduced for a longer duration exhibited a higher concentration of OVs. A typical CL spectrum of TiO2 was deconvoluted to four Gaussian components, assigned to F, F+, and Ti3+ centers.
Keywords: TiO2 nanotubes, defects, cathodoluminescence
Published in RUNG: 13.12.2023; Views: 471; Downloads: 7
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3.
Defective ▫$TiO_2$▫ nanotube arrays for efficient photoelectrochemical degradation of organic pollutants
Manel Machreki, Takwa Chouki, Georgi Tyuliev, Dušan Žigon, Bunsho Ohtani, Alexandre Loukanov, Plamen Stefanov, Saim Emin, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Oxygen vacancies (OVs) are one of the most critical factors that enhance the electrical and catalytic characteristics of metal oxide-based photo-electrodes. In this work, a simple procedure was applied to prepare reduced TiO 2 nanotube arrays (NTAs) (TiO 2−x) via a one-step reduction method using NaBH 4. A series of characterization techniques were used to study the structural, optical, and electronic properties of TiO 2−x NTAs. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed the presence of defects in TiO 2−x NTAs. Photoacoustic measurements were used to estimate the electron-trap density in the NTAs. Photoelectrochemical studies show that the photocurrent density of TiO 2−x NTAs was nearly 3 times higher than that of pristine TiO 2. It was found that increasing OVs in TiO 2 affects the surface recombination centers, enhances electrical conductivity, and improves charge transport. For the first time, a TiO 2−x photoanode was used in the photo-electrochemical (PEC) degradation of a textile dye (basic blue 41, B41) and ibuprofen (IBF) pharmaceutical using in situ generated reactive chlorine species (RCS). Liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry was used to study the mechanisms for the degradation of B41 and IBF. Phytotoxicity tests of B41 and IBF solutions were performed using Lepidium sativum L. to evaluate the potential acute toxicity before and after the PEC treatment. The present work provides efficient PEC degradation of the B41 dye and IBF in the presence of RCS without generating harmful products.
Keywords: TiO2, nanotube arrays, photoelectrochemical degradation, organic pollutants
Published in RUNG: 12.06.2023; Views: 1099; Downloads: 7
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4.
Reduced TiO2 nanotube arrays for photoelectrochemical degradation of pharmaceutical
Manel Machreki, Takwa Chouki, Georgi Tyuliev, Dušan Žigon, Bunsho Ohtani, Alexandre Loukanov, Plamen Stefanov, Saim Emin, 2022, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Keywords: TiO2, nanotube arrays, photoelectrochemical degradation, pharmaceuticals
Published in RUNG: 10.02.2023; Views: 1093; Downloads: 0
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5.
Highly active iron phosphide catalysts for selective electrochemical nitrate reduction to ammonia
Takwa Chouki, Manel Machreki, Iwona A. Rutkowska, Beata Rytelewska, Pawel Jozef Kulesza, Georgi Tyuliev, Moussab Harb, Luis Miguel Azofra, Saim Emin, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The electrochemical reduction reaction of the nitrate ion (NO3−), a widespread water pollutant, to valuable ammonia (NH3) is a promising approach for environmental remediation and green energy conservation. The development of high-performance electrocatalysts to selectively reduce NO3− wastes into value-added NH3 will open up a different route of NO3− treatment, and impose both environmental and economic impacts on sustainable NH3 synthesis. Transition metal phosphides represent one of the most promising earth-abundant catalysts with impressive electrocatalytic activities. Herein, we report for the first time the electrocatalytic reduction of NO3− using different phases of iron phosphide. Particularly, FeP and Fe2P phases were successfully demonstrated as efficient catalysts for NH3 generation. Detection of the in-situ formed product was achieved using electrooxidation of NH3 to nitrogen (N2) on a Pt electrode. The Fe2P catalyst exhibits the highest Faradaic efficiency (96 %) for NH3 generation with a yield (0.25 mmol h−1 cm-−2 or 2.10 mg h−1 cm−2) at − 0.55 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE). The recycling tests confirmed that Fe2P and FeP catalysts exhibit excellent stability during the NO3− reduction at − 0.37 V vs. RHE. To get relevant information about the reaction mechanisms and the fundamental origins behind the better performance of Fe2P, density functional theory (DFT) calculations were performed. These results indicate that the Fe2P phase exhibits excellent performance to be deployed as an efficient noble metal-free catalyst for NH3 generation.
Keywords: iron phosphide, electrocatalysts, nitrates reduction ammonia, DFT calculations
Published in RUNG: 02.02.2023; Views: 1366; Downloads: 4
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