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Professor @ University of Bucharest

The dark side of Nanocatalysis

The seminar will focus on interdisciplinary work at the chemistry-life sciences interface with an angle towards nanoparticles and nanotechnologies. I will cover various aspects of catalysis in the context of green chemistry and sustainability. In particular I will discuss the main physicochemical properties of nanocatalysts that opened up the wide range of the nanocatalysis applications. Then, critical issues with respect to synthetic strategies designed to produce nanocatalysts will be presented. Finally, due to concerns that increased use of such materials could translates to increased environment damages, some synthetic strategies for the “greening” of the syntheses of nanocatalysts will be discussed. As exemplification, the zeolites and mesoporous silica nanomaterials will be taken into discussion.
The open problem addressed to the participant students:
(1) identify the risks concerning the use of metal-based nanocatalysts with the emphasis on the toxicity of their manufacture, the use of critical elements and the efficiency of their separation/recovering from the process ;
(2) find recent examples reporting sustainable alternatives for reducing/eliminating these issues.

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