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DTU Studieprojekt - Utilization of lignin-based materials for the synthesis of functional pigments for photocatalytic coatings.

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

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Utilization of lignin-based materials for the synthesis of functional pigments for photocatalytic coatings.

Udbyder
Vejleder
Sted
København og omegn

  • Background
    Advanced oxidation photocatalytic processes are based on the production of highly oxidizing reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are able to degrade pollutants and inactivate microorganisms [1,2]. The photocatalytic performance is caused by the interaction of light and an active material called photocatalyst, usually an inorganic semiconductor. The photocatalyst absorbs photons, which triggers the generation of charged species that react with chemicals from the surroundings. In most cases, these compounds are water and oxygen, resulting in the formation of ROS, such as hydroxyl radical (*OH) [3].
  • The photocatalyst needs to be incorporated into an adequate reactor form to become a feasible environmental remediation and protection technology.
This can be achieved by its incorporation into a coating. Coatings are organic-based composite materials combining polymeric binder, pigments and other additives that harden to form a film. Photocatalytic coatings have been investigated over the years as a potential technology for air purification (indoors and outdoors), surface disinfection and self-cleaning functionality [4–6].

The full implementation of photocatalytic coatings into the society requires the development of novel and improved photocatalytic materials. The state-of-the-art photocatalytic pigment, nanosized titania (TiO2, particle size

The above-mentioned disadvantages encourage putting efforts on the design of alternative pigments to standard nanosized TiO2 for photocatalytic coatings. A possibility is engineering mesoporous photocatalysts, which feature high specific surface area and an optimum porous structure (pore size between 2-50 nm) for the adsorption and conversion of reactants. These structures can be synthesized using template-assisted methods where metal salts combined with a combustible component (template) are calcined, leading to a pure inorganic phase. In its most refined version, this approach allows even the preparation of hierarchical structures, such as hollow multishelled microspheres (HoMS), which display improved light absorption due to favorable light scattering [8]. Most of the templates employed to this end (e.g. surfactants or synthetic polymers) are not from a biological renewable source and/or require harsh post-treatments for their use as template.

From the sustainable point of view, the use of bio-based products for the preparation of photocatalytic pigments is desirable. An example of this compounds is lignin. Lignin is the main component of lignocellulosic biomass along with cellulose [9]. While cellulose is extensively used in paper industry and biofuel fermentation, the lignin fraction remains unutilized due to poor solubility and superior complexity. Despite these drawbacks, researchers have reported the application of lignin for production of functional materials in the area of photocatalysis and photovoltaics, being the synthesis of semiconductor-lignin composites for wastewater treatment a prominent example [10,11].

Aim of the project
This project has a goal exploring the use of lignin towards the synthesis of photocatalytic pigments for further use in coatings formulation, featuring high specific surface area for adsorption of reactants and improved light absorption properties. The possibilities of this project covers, but are not limited to, the use of lignin as template, either as-obtained or after carbonization; or as support for the immobilization of photocatalytic active sites. For validation of the concept, the active component could be made of TiO2 but the project also conceives exploring other non-TiO2-based photocatalysts, such as ZnO.

The student will have access to equipment available at our facilities for synthesis and to multiple structural characterization techniques, namely Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDS), N2-adsoprtion/physisorption and UV-Visible Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy (UV-DRS) for the elucidation of the morphology of the synthesized materials. Finally, the most promising samples will be rendered into coatings and their performance evaluated in artificial irradiation experiments.

Project structure
This project will take place within the framework of the CoaST research center at the DTU Chemical and Biochemical Engineering department.

As preliminary plan, the project will be composed of the following steps:

1. Literature study (~1 month) in order to establish past efforts in the area (i.e. synthesis of photocatalysts using lignin as reactant).

2. Evaluation of the equipment/chemicals that could be potentially used in the investigation.

3. Definition of potential synthetic routes for synthesis.

4. Synthesis of samples, followed by structural characterization and performance evaluation in powder form.

5. Identification of those parameters affecting the physical/chemical properties of the resulting powders with focus on their optimization.

6. Formulation and production of coatings that integrate the optimized functional pigments.

7. Evaluation of the coatings performance and comparison with reference coatings based on nanosized TiO2.

References

[1] J. Ângelo, L. Andrade, L.M. Madeira, A. Mendes, An overview of Forudsætninger
Requirements (students’ academic and personal requirement) Relevant BSc degree, with emphasis on physical chemistry and material science. Experience in laboratory synthesis and characterization of ino

Emneord

  • Bioteknologi og biokemi
  • Fysik
  • Informationsteknologi
  • Kemi
  • Matematik
  • Transport og logistik
  • Teknisk kemi
  • Sundhed og sygdomme
Kontakt
Virksomhed/organisation
DTU Kemiteknik

Navn
Amado Andrés Velázquez-Palenzuela

Stilling
Forsker

Mail
aavp@kt.dtu.dk

Vejleder-info
Kandidatuddannelsen i Kemisk og Biokemisk Teknologi
Vejleder
Amado Andrés Velázquez-Palenzuela

Medvejledere
Jakob Munkholt Christensen, Kim Dam-Johansen

ECTS-point
25 - 35

Type
Kandidatspeciale

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Ansøgningsfrist d. 11.10.2021
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Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU) - hurtigt overblik


Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
DTU er et teknisk eliteuniversitet med international rækkevidde og standard. Vores mission er at udvikle og nyttiggøre naturvidenskab og teknisk videnskab til gavn for samfundet. 11.200 studerende uddanner sig her til fremtiden, og 6.000 medarbejdere har hver dag fokus på uddannelse, forskning, myndighedsrådgivning og innovation, som bidrager til øget vækst og velfærd.

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