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Winning combination of Cu and Fe oxide clusters with an alumina support for low-temperature catalytic oxidation of volatile organic compounds
Tadej Žumbar, Iztok Arčon, Petar Djinović, Giuliana Aquilanti, Gregor Žerjav, Albin Pintar, Alenka Ristić, Goran Dražić, Janez Volavšek, Gregor Mali, Margarita Popova, Nataša Zabukovec Logar, Nataša Novak Tušar, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: A γ-alumina support functionalized with transition metals is one of the most widely used industrial catalysts for the total oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as air pollutants at higher temperatures (280−450 °C). By rational design of a bimetal CuFe-γ-alumina catalyst, synthesized from a dawsonite alumina precursor, the activity in total oxidation of toluene as a model VOC at a lower temperature (200−380 °C) is achieved. A fundamental understanding of the catalyst and the reaction mechanism is elucidated by advanced microscopic and spectroscopic characterizations as well as by temperature-programmed surface techniques. The nature of the metal−support bonding and the optimal abundance between Cu−O−Al and Fe−O−Al species in the catalysts leads to synergistic catalytic activity promoted by small amounts of iron (Fe/Al = 0.005). The change in the metal oxide−cluster alumina interface is related to the nature of the surfaces to which the Cu atoms attach. In the most active catalyst, the CuO6 octahedra are attached to 4 Al atoms, while in the less active catalyst, they are attached to only 3 Al atoms. The oxidation of toluene occurs via the Langmuir−Hinshelwood mechanism. The presented material introduces a prospective family of low-cost and scalable oxidation catalysts with superior efficiency at lower temperatures.
Keywords: Iron oxide clusters, copper oxide clusters, alumina support, synergistic effect, low-temperature total catalytic oxidation, toluene, Cu, Fe XANES, EXAFS
Published in RUNG: 06.07.2023; Views: 872; Downloads: 10
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Stable seawater oxidation with a self-healing oxygen-evolving catalyst
Xiaojian Zhang, Chao Feng, Zeyu Fan, Beibei Zhang, Yequan Xiao, Andraž Mavrič, Nadiia Pastukhova, Matjaž Valant, Yi-Fan Han, Yanbo Li, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Direct seawater electrolysis is key to massive hydrogen fuel production without the depletion of precious freshwater resources and the need for high-purity electrolytes. However, the presence of high-concentration chloride ions (Cl−) and alkaline-earth metal ions (Mg2+, Ca2+) poses great challenges to the stability and selectivity of the catalysts for seawater splitting. Here, we demonstrate a self-healing oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalyst for long-term seawater electrolysis. By suppressing the competitive chlorine evolution reaction and precipitating the alkaline-earth metal ions through an alkaline treatment of the seawater, stable seawater oxidation is achieved owing to the self-healing ability of the borate-intercalated nickel–cobalt–iron oxyhydroxides (NiCoFe-Bi) OER catalyst under highly-alkaline conditions. The self-healing NiCoFe-Bi catalyst achieves stable seawater oxidation at a large current density of 500 mA cm−2 for 1000 h with near unity Faraday efficiency. Our results have demonstrated strong durability and high OER selectivity of the self-healing catalyst under harsh conditions, paving the way for industrial large-scale seawater electrolysis.
Keywords: chemistry, electrocatalysis, seawater oxidation, oxygen evolution reaction
Published in RUNG: 08.05.2023; Views: 897; Downloads: 2
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Non-covalent ligand-oxide interaction promotes oxygen evolution
Qianbao Wu, Junwu Liang, Mengjun Xiao, Chang Long, Lei Li, Zhenhua Zeng, Andraž Mavrič, Xia Zheng, Jing Zhu, Matjaž Valant, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Strategies to generate high-valence metal species capable of oxidizing water often employ composition and coordination tuning of oxide-based catalysts, where strong covalent interactions with metal sites are crucial. However, it remains unexplored whether a relatively weak “non-bonding” interaction between ligands and oxides can mediate the electronic states of metal sites in oxides. Here we present an unusual non-covalent phenanthroline-CoO2 interaction that substantially elevates the population of Co4+ sites for improved water oxidation. We find that phenanthroline only coordinates with Co2+ forming soluble Co(phenanthroline)2(OH)2 complex in alkaline electrolytes, which can be deposited as amorphous CoOxHy film containing non-bonding phenanthroline upon oxidation of Co2+ to Co3+/4+. This in situ deposited catalyst demonstrates a low overpotential of 216 mV at 10 mA cm−2 and sustainable activity over 1600 h with Faradaic efficiency above 97%. Density functional theory calculations reveal that the presence of phenanthroline can stabilize CoO2 through the non-covalent interaction and generate polaron-like electronic states at the Co-Co center.
Keywords: water oxidation, cobalt hydroxide, ligand-metal interactions
Published in RUNG: 23.02.2023; Views: 1191; Downloads: 15
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Removal of copper from aqueous solutions with zeolites and possible treatment of exhaust materials
Nataša Zabukovec Logar, Iztok Arčon, Janez Kovač, Margarita Popova, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: The mechanism of Cu2+ loading into commercially available natural HEU-type and synthetic LTA-type zeolites for their possible use in environmental processes, such as water and air treatment applications, was studied. Elemental analysis, SEM/EDXS, XRD, XAS and XPS analyses revealed 4-fold coordination of Cu2+ cations with oxygen atoms in the pores, a predominant location of copper atoms on the surface of crystallites and retained crystallinity of zeolites throughout the processes. The post-treatment of Cu2+-loaded samples with HCl and/or NaCl solutions confirmed the predominantly reversible sorption of copper on zeolites from aqueous solutions by ion-exchange mechanism and, therefore, excellent regeneration possibilities for both types of zeolites. Furthermore, with the calcination of exhaust metal-loaded zeolites, catalysts for total toluene oxidation reaction, as a model VOC pollutant, were obtained.
Keywords: Cu2+ ion exchange, Total toluene oxidation, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Zeolite
Published in RUNG: 03.06.2021; Views: 1813; Downloads: 152
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Effect of the Morphology of the High-Surface-Area Support on the Performance of the Oxygen-Evolution Reaction for Iridium Nanoparticles
Leonard Moriau, Marjan Bele, Živa Marinko, Francisco Ruiz-Zepeda, Gorazd Koderman, Martin Šala, Angelija Kjara Šurca, Janez Kovač, Iztok Arčon, Primož Jovanovič, Nejc Hodnik, Luka Suhadolnik, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: The development of affordable, low-iridium-loading, scalable, active, and stable catalysts for the oxygen-evolution reaction (OER) is a requirement for the commercialization of proton-exchange membrane water electrolyzers (PEMWEs). However, the synthesis of high-performance OER catalysts with minimal use of the rare and expensive element Ir is very challenging and requires the identification of electrically conductive and stable high-surface-area support materials. We developed a synthesis procedure for the production of large quantities of a nanocomposite powder containing titanium oxynitride (TiONx) and Ir. The catalysts were synthesized with an anodic oxidation process followed by detachment, milling, thermal treatment, and the deposition of Ir nanoparticles. The anodization time was varied to grow three different types of nanotubular structures exhibiting different lengths and wall thicknesses and thus a variety of properties. A comparison of milled samples with different degrees of nanotubular clustering and morphology retention, but with identical chemical compositions and Ir nanoparticle size distributions and dispersions, revealed that the nanotubular support morphology is the determining factor governing the catalyst’s OER activity and stability. Our study is supported by various state-of-the-art materials’ characterization techniques, like X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopies, Xray powder diffraction and absorption spectroscopy, and electrochemical cyclic voltammetry. Anodic oxidation proved to be a very suitable way to produce high-surface-area powder-type catalysts as the produced material greatly outperformed the IrO2 benchmarks as well as the Ir-supported samples on morphologically different TiONx from previous studies. The highest activity was achieved for the sample prepared with 3 h of anodization, which had the most appropriate morphology for the effective removal of oxygen bubbles.
Keywords: electrocatalysis, oxygen-evolution reaction, TiONx-Ir powder catalyst, iridium nanoparticles, anodic oxidation, morphology−activity correlation
Published in RUNG: 04.01.2021; Views: 2385; Downloads: 0
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So reduktivne note v vinu hudič ali angel varuh?
Guillaume Antalick, 2018, polemic, discussion, commentary

Keywords: Wine, reductive aroma, oxidation, good practice, Slovenia
Published in RUNG: 19.09.2018; Views: 3779; Downloads: 19
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Atomic-level mechanisms of magnesium oxidation
Sandra Gardonio, Mattia Fanetti, Matjaž Valant, Dmytro Orlov, 2016, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Magnesium has been recently becoming an increasingly popular material for various applications. However, excessive chemical reactivity, and oxidation rate in particular, is a major obstruction on the way of Mg to become widely adopted. A significant problem causing the lack of Mg reactivity control is insufficient understanding of mechanisms involved in the oxidation of magnesium surface. Herewith we present the investigation of atomic-level mechanisms of oxidation initiation and propagation in pure Mg. Namely, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy at synchrotron Elettra was used as a surface sensitive direct method to determine the valence of Mg and O and the valence band states at the early stage of oxide formation over a principal, most densely packed, crystallographic plane (0001) in pure Mg. The mechanisms of oxygen adsorption on magnesium free surface followed by oxidation (i.e. initiation and kinetics of MgO formation) are clarified. Copyright © 2016 by The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Magnesium, Oxidation, Synchrotron radiation, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
Published in RUNG: 25.08.2017; Views: 4914; Downloads: 0
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Photocatalytic Activity of Zirconium- and Manganese- Codoped Titania in Aqueous Media: The Role of the Metal Dopant and its Incorporation Site
O. L. Pliekhov, Iztok Arčon, Nataša Novak Tušar, Urška Lavrenčič Štangar, 2016, original scientific article

Abstract: The development of efficient TiO2-based photocatalysts for water treatment is mainly performed by doping with transition metals or by establishing junctions between different phases, metal–semiconductor or semiconductor–semiconductor. We present, for the first time, the synthesis of Zr- and Mn-modified TiO2 by a redesigned sol–gel technique that allows the formation of heterometallic bridges on the TiO2 surface. Cations of the doping metals are located in the pores of mesoporous anatase and attached to the crystalline TiO2 walls. The presence of the Zr enhances the photoactivity of the TiO2 catalyst. However, the introduction of Mn decreases the photocatalytic efficiency in a nonadditive manner. The inhibition effect was assigned to the side reaction between hydroxyl radicals and Mn ions. The fact that Mn effectively scavenges the hydroxyl radicals and, consequently, inhibits the whole oxidation process is direct proof that hydroxyl radicals are the main reactive species in the photocatalytic oxidative processes on TiO2 surfaces in aqueous media and the process of COH generation is the rate-determining step, which was confirmed using a method based on the decolorization of a commercial dye Bezaktiv Blau in a reaction with Fenton’s reagent as a source of hydroxyl radicals.
Keywords: doping, manganese, oxidation, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, zirconium
Published in RUNG: 21.07.2016; Views: 4031; Downloads: 0
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