This activity intends to advance the application of nanotechnology to environmental catalysis, which may be a solution to many issues related with air and water contamination. The use of novel nanocatalysts creates opportunities to enhance the performance of traditional catalytic materials, or even to open doors to new chemistries to address important environmental problems.
In 2SMART, catalytic nanomaterials were developed through novel synthesis and modification methodologies. The preparation of macro‑structured 3D catalysts is an alternative for the practical use of nanomaterials which, due to their small size, are complicated to handle, and their direct use is not always possible. On the other hand, optimized designs can be selected to achieve the best performance for the 3D catalysts.
The catalysts were used in practical applications in quasi‑real conditions, including the removal of organic and inorganic pollutants from water streams, with the objective of promoting water reuse, and in the abatement of atmospheric pollutants typically found in urban areas, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and NOx. 2SMART intends to protect natural resources and the urban environment to create resilient frameworks capable of resisting and mitigating the impact caused by climate change.
Currently, 2SMART has successfully demonstrated the incorporation of carbon‑based catalysts (activated carbon and carbon nanotubes) in 3D printing inks, which have been used to prepare structures of varying shapes, with very good flexibility and mechanical strength. These inks have been tested in several applications, such as CO2 capture.