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Abstract

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  2. Abstract
  3. What prompted you to investigate this topic/problem?
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  5. Acknowledgements

Invited for this month’s cover are collaborators from the University of Porto in Portugal and KU Leuven in Belgium. The image shows that nanodiamond–TiO2 composites can effectively degrade organic water pollutants by photocatalysis under ambient conditions. This process will reduce human impact on freshwater systems, thereby contributing to meet worldwide targets on water footprint reduction. Read the full text of the article at 10.1002/cplu.201300094


What prompted you to investigate this topic/problem?

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  2. Abstract
  3. What prompted you to investigate this topic/problem?
  4. What other topics are you working on at the moment?
  5. Acknowledgements

12345678910Nowadays, environmental pollution and the availability of clean water in sufficient amounts are topics of great concern. The use of advanced oxidation technologies for water treatment, such as heterogeneous photocatalysis, can decisively contribute to reduce the water footprint. In this context, the development of effective photocatalysts has attracted enormous attention. Nanostructured carbon materials, such as fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, as well as graphene and its derivatives, have been combined with semiconductor materials (mainly with TiO2) to produce composite catalysts with enhanced photocatalytic properties, where different synergistic effects are observed. However, the treatment of water pollutants by photocatalysis using nano- or microdiamonds has not been previously addressed, in spite of these carbon materials being widely used for several other applications.

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Scheme 1. Luisa M. Pastrana-Martínez

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Scheme 2. Sergio Morales-Torres

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Scheme 3. Sónia A. C. Carabineiro

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Scheme 4. Josephus G. Buijnsters

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Scheme 5. Joaquim L. Faria

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Scheme 6. José L. Figueiredo

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Scheme 7. Adrián M. T. Silva

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What other topics are you working on at the moment?

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  3. What prompted you to investigate this topic/problem?
  4. What other topics are you working on at the moment?
  5. Acknowledgements

Catalysis and carbon are the main scientific areas in which the Portuguese group has acquired considerable expertise and earned international recognition. Environmental catalysis is a successful field of action with applications in water, wastewater, and gas treatment. Other research lines are catalysts for energy, fine chemicals and renewables, as well as nanostructured carbon materials. The methods developed for functionalization of carbon materials, which have been successfully applied in catalysis, are currently being adapted to the production of carbon membranes for water desalination, carbon sensors, porous materials for energy storage, and CO2 capture. In the field of photocatalysis, new materials are under development for efficient energy production, including solar fuels. The main activities of the Belgian group are related to the development of new and improved materials and production methods. Research activities include chemical vapor deposition of nanostructured diamond and diamond-like carbon thin films (as protective coatings and as building blocks in micro-device applications) as well as diamond nanoparticles with novel functionality.

Acknowledgements

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  2. Abstract
  3. What prompted you to investigate this topic/problem?
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  5. Acknowledgements

Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), Portugal, and FEDER through COMPETE (projects PEst-C/EQB/LA0020/2011, SFRH/BPD/74239/2010, SFRH/BPD/88964/2012, PTDC/AAC-AMB/122312/2010, and CIENCIA 2007 program). Executive Research Agency of the European Union for funding under the Marie Curie grant NANODIA (272448).

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