Tag: photocatalysis

Hot off the press: First paper from Miquel and Pol!

Schematic representation of the two-step microwave-assisted synthesis of Au/TiO2 nanostructures.

New publication from the N&N group in collaboration with the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya!


Congratulations to all the authors of the manuscript and especially to Miquel Torras (Ph.D. student at the N&N group) and Pol Sallés (previous researcher at the N&N group) for the first publication of their careers! The paper “Fast and Simple Microwave Synthesis of TiO2/Au Nanoparticles for Gas-Phase Photocatalytic Hydrogen Generation” has been published on April 12th 2018 at the open access journal Frontiers in Chemistry.


Abstract: The fabrication of small anatase titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) attached to larger anisotropic gold (Au) morphologies by a very fast and simple two-step microwave-assisted synthesis is presented. The TiO2/Au NPs are synthesized using polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as reducing, capping and stabilizing agent through a polyol approach. To optimize the contact between the titania and the gold and facilitate electron transfer, the PVP is removed by calcination at mild temperatures. The nanocatalysts activity is then evaluated in the photocatalytic production of hydrogen from water/ethanol mixtures in gas-phase at ambient temperature. A maximum value of 5.3 mmol·g−1cat⋅gcat-1·h−1 (7.4 mmol·g−1TiO2⋅gTiO2-1·h−1) of hydrogen is recorded for the system with larger gold particles at an optimum calcination temperature of 450°C. Herein we demonstrate that TiO2-based photocatalysts with high Au loading and large Au particle size (≈50 nm) NPs have photocatalytic activity.

Anna May will give a talk at the III Meeting of Young Researchers in Colloids and Interfaces in Madrid

Anna May will give the talk “Au/TiO2 nanoparticles on bacterial cellulose membranes for water splitting in gas phase” in the III Meeting of Young Researchers in Colloids and Intrefaces (III Reunión de Jóvenes Investigadores en Coloides e Interfases), which is held in the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, during October 13-14, 2016. 

The work presented is in the framework of the Engineering Bacterial Cellulose Nanocomposites project from ICMAB, in collaboration with Jordi Llorca and Lluís Soler, from the Institut de Tècniques Energètiques (INTE) at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). 

The meeting is organized by the Grupo Especializado de Coloides e Interfases, the Real Sociedad Española de Física, and the Real Sociedad Española de Química.img_8085

For more information:



Jordi Llorca, one of our collaborators from INTE-UPC, in the Catalan newspaper ara.cat, talks about photocatalysis

Ciència.cat from ara.catJordi Llorca, from Institut de Tècniques Energètiques (INTE-UPC) explains in this video from the newspaper ara, one of the projects in which we collaborate: photocatalysis for hydrogen production from sunlight, a photocatalyst formed by TiO2/Au nanoparticles, and water: 

The video is part of the article, in Catalan: Com produïm electricitat amb el sol i l’hidrogen? 

In the video he says: “We obtain hydrogen -which is not in its free state in the Earth- to act as a source of energy, and to obtain it, we use use sunlight -completely clean-, a photocatalyst containing nanoparticles, and water.”

This article is part of a special issue called Ciència.cat about research and science in Catalunya, appeared this last Sunday with the newspaper ara.

You can find the special issue here: Ciència.cat

The N&N Group was at Mater Brunch: Fotocataliti-qué?

materfadThis last Thursday, Anna May, in representation of the N&N Group, went to “Mater Brunch: Fotocataliti-qué?“, a meeting about photocatalysis that took place at Materfad, the Materials Center in Barcelona. The topic of the session was the new materials based on photocatalysis that are being developed to improve the quality of life and of the urban environment.
Materfad organized a meeting between professionals, which counted with the experience of Breinco, Active Walls, FYM-Italcementi Group and the Iberian Association of Photocatalysis (AIF).
The program consisted of four presentations and a networking session accompanied by a buffet:
14:00: “Introducing the AIF (Iberian Association of Photocatalysis)” by David Almazán (Iberian Association of Photocatalysis).
14:15 h: “Photocatalysis inside buildings” by Jesús Serra (Active Walls).
14:30: “Key issues on cement-based photocatalytic products” by Rafael Jurado (FYM-Italcementi Group).
14:45 h: “Technology AirClean®: flooring and facades that reduce air pollution” by Gemma Pages (Breinco).
Although the meeting was basically dedicated to materials for construction (either indoors or outdoors), it is always good to know the priorities, state of the market and companies interested in photocatalysis, since our group is also working in this field. 
Some interesting facts that were mentioned were the high degree of contamination in big cities, such as Barcelona; the consequences of this high pollution in people’s health (high mortality), although people are not aware of it, or the fact that Barcelona does not comply with the existing NOx limits. 
Another think to take into account is that the air of our houses or workplaces (indoors), where we spend more than 95 % of our time, is also polluted, although we do not notice it.
The speakers mentioned that there are not conclusive results about the diminishment of the pollution when using these photocatalytic materials: experiments outdoors show results from 15 to 40 % of reduction of NOx, whereas experiments indoors show results up to 90 % reduction.