Roberto Fiorenza

Roberto Fiorenza
University of Catania | UNICT · Department of chemical sciences

PhD in chemical Sciences
Research in industrial chemistry (heterogeneous catalysis and photocatalysis)

About

65
Publications
14,376
Reads
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898
Citations
Citations since 2017
47 Research Items
880 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
Introduction
Roberto Fiorenza is a PhD in chemical Science. The main scientific interests are focused on some environmental (VOCs oxidation, air and water purification) and industrial (H2 production and purification)applications of heterogeneous catalysis with particular concern on TiO2-based materials for photocatalysis. He won the Young Scientist Award at E-MRS (European Materials Research Society) 2017 (“Photocatalytic material for energy and environment “) and the best PhD thesis 2018 for the Catania Gioeni's Accademy. He is author or co-author of several articles, published in international peer-review scientific journal and he was reviewer of some international journals as Applied Catalysis A, Catalysts, Catalysis Today and Journal of Hazardous Materials.
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - present
University of Catania
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • AIM project: H2 production by photocatalytic water splitting
February 2019 - March 2019
Centro Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Internship in the solar unit of water
March 2018 - July 2019
Italian National Research Council
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • SENTI Project
Education
November 2014 - December 2017
University of Catania
Field of study
  • Chemistry
October 2012 - July 2014
University of Catania
Field of study
  • Material Chemistry
October 2008 - March 2012
University of Catania
Field of study
  • Industrial Chemistry

Publications

Publications (65)
Article
Full-text available
Photocatalytic water splitting for H2 production and photocatalytic oxidation of 2-propanol, an example of volatile organic compounds, were investigated over TiO2 catalysts loaded with gold and/or ceria. In the water splitting reaction the presence of gold only slightly affected the performance of TiO2 whereas the presence of CeO2 had a more remark...
Article
Full-text available
CeO2 supported mono and bimetallic Au catalysts (AueAg, AueCu, AuePd, AueRu), prepared by deposition-precipitation, were tested in the preferential oxidation of CO in the excess of H2 (PROX). Activity data showed that the PROX performances of Au/CeO2 are boosted by addition of Ag and to a minor extent Cu, whereas Ru and Pd have a negative effect. F...
Article
Photocatalytic and catalytic oxidation of 2-propanol, representative of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), were compared over mixed TiO2-CeO2-based catalysts. The effect of different amounts of CeO2 and the presence of gold (1 wt%) on TiO2 was investigated. In the photocatalytic oxidation CeO2 had a negative effect on the performance towards the a...
Article
Full-text available
Oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and preferential oxidation of CO in the excess of H2 (CO-PROX) were investigated over mono and bimetallic Au–Ag/CeO2 and Au–Cu/CeO2 catalysts. For the oxidation of VOC (2-propanol, ethanol and toluene) Au/CeO2 was the most active catalyst for the combustion of alcohols to CO2, Ag/CeO2 gave the best perf...
Article
A nanodelivery system based on palladium nanoparticles (PdNP) and cisplatin (CisPt) was developed by physisorption of the drug onto the PdNP synthesized via a green redox process, using d-glucose and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as reducing and stabilizing/capping agents, respectively. UV-vis analysis and H2-evolution measurements were carried out to...
Article
Full-text available
Citation: Balsamo, S.A.; La Greca, E.; Calà Pizzapilo, M.; Sciré, S.; Fiorenza, R. CeO 2-rGO Composites for Photocatalytic H 2 Evolution by Glycerol Photoreforming. Materials 2023, 16, 747. https://doi. Abstract: The interaction between CeO 2-GO or CeO 2-rGO and gold as co-catalysts were here investigated for solar H 2 production by photoreforming...
Article
Full-text available
Advances in materials science and technology have prompted researchers to look to nature for new high-performance, low-cost materials. Among these, cyclodextrins have been widely used as a material in industrial applications. Inspired by previous work by our research group that led to the functionalization of cucurbit[6]uryl and its conversion into...
Article
We here investigated a solar photothermo-catalytic combined process where the toluene (as volatile organic compound model) was first oxidized to CO2 which was subsequently converted into solar fuels in a second reactor. For this aim two noble-metal free catalytic systems were used, namely MnOx-ZrO2, which gave the best results for the toluene remov...
Article
The energy crisis is at the top of global priorities. It left us with an option to progress with highly efficient materials for energy conversion, production, and storage systems. Carbon nano-allotropes have more accessible, and modifiable surface with excellent surface area, conductivity, catalytic activity, and other features. Biochar synthesized...
Article
Full-text available
A set of metals modified TiO 2 photocatalysts were prepared starting from titanium tetraisopropoxyde and different metal precursors to study the influence of the addition of the various foreign agents on the physico-chemical and photocatalytic properties of the catalysts. The powders were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, spec...
Article
The emission of toxic VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the environment causes serious problems and, if from one side there are directives to reduce this threat, from the other side there are stringent necessities for their removal. Several methods have been proposed to remove toxic VOCs, but little attention has been paid towards their photooxi...
Article
The development of new advanced polymers has led researchers to look to nature to find new, high-performance, low-cost materials. This work aims to easily functionalize the fibers, made up of polysaccharides, of the loofah with halloysite through crosslinkers. Bio-composites have been extensively characterized using different techniques. The synthe...
Article
The development of new advanced polymers has led researchers to look to nature to find new, high-performance, low-cost materials. This work aims to easily functionalize the fibers, made up of polysaccharides, of the loofah with halloysite through crosslinkers. Bio-composites have been extensively characterized using different techniques. The synthe...
Article
La 2 O 2 CO 3 ‐WO 3 composites were here proposed as unconventional photocatalysts for the removal of phthalates in water. The high sorption properties of the lanthanum dioxide carbonate allowed a strong adsorption of the phthalates which facilitated the following solar photocatalytic degradation, further boosted by the addition of small amounts of...
Article
Full-text available
The quality of air and water is a crucial and critical contemporary problem. The more globalized economy, and the rapid growth of new economic powers, have given rise to new problems related to environmental protection [...]
Article
Full-text available
In this work, we investigated the role of the crystalline phases of titanium dioxide in the solar photocatalytic H2 production by the reforming of glycerol, focusing the attention on the influ- ence of photodeposited gold, as a metal co-catalyst, on TiO2 surface. We correlated the photocatalytic activity of 1 wt% Au/TiO2 in anatase, rutile, and bro...
Article
Full-text available
Solar photothermo-catalysis is a fascinating multi-catalytic approach for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) removal. In this work, we have explored the performance and the chemicophysical features of non-critical, noble, metal-free MnOx-ZrO2 mixed oxides. The structural, morphological, and optical characterizations of these materials pointed to as...
Article
Full-text available
A non-conventional approach to prepare titanium dioxide-reduced graphene oxide (TiO2-rGO) nanocomposites based on solar photoreduction is here presented. The standard hydro-sol-vothermal synthesis of the TiO2-rGO composites requires high temperatures and several steps, whereas the proposed one-pot preparation allows one to obtain the photocatalysts...
Article
Full-text available
Background Water pollution due to emerging contaminants such as pesticides, pharmaceutics and/or plasticizers, is a serious environmental problem strictly connected to the safety of human and ecosystem life. For this reason, the development of high-performing (photo)catalysts for water purification is crucial. Objective In recent years, the synerg...
Article
The photoactive features of the least common polymorph of TiO2, i.e. brookite, were combined with the thermocatalytic redox ones of cerium oxide, focusing on the effects of the addition of small amounts of Co-Cu oxides for the solar CO2 conversion. By considering the characterization data, surface segregation of the hosted metal oxides on the TiO2-...
Article
Nanomaterials involve an active research and a booming area including different fields (health, environment, electronics, manufacturing, drug delivery). Recently, new concerns are emerging about the risk from increased production and subsequent release into the environment, as they are largely present in consumer products and industrial application...
Article
New porous material based on the first supramolecular cucurbituril-based nanosponge was synthetized by the functionalization of cucurbit[6]uril with twelve 1-(2-bromoethyl)- 3-methyl-1H-imidazol-3-ium arms. The porous structure and the high adsorption capacity were demonstrated through surface area measurements and carbon dioxide adsorption. The ne...
Article
Full-text available
Gadolinium metal-organic frameworks (Gd-MOFs) and Eu-doped Gd-MOFs have been synthesized through a one-pot green approach using commercially available reagents. The 1,4-benzenedicarboxylic acid (H2-BDC) and 2,6-naphthalenedicarboxylic acid (H2-NDC) were chosen as ditopic organic linkers to build the 3D structure of the network. The Gd-MOFs were cha...
Article
Different CeO2-based materials employed as unconventional photocatalysts for H2 production were here examined. The performances of bare CeO2 prepared by precipitation were compared with those of CeO2-WO3 composites synthetized by co-precipitation and surfactants-mediated precipitation. The bare CeO2 and the best CeO2-WO3 composite were treated with...
Chapter
The use of TiO2 as heterogeneous catalyst and/or active support for metals or other oxides is here reported. Many reactions of industrial relevance involve, in fact, titania-based catalysts, among them, NOx abatement, Fischer–Tropsch and water–gas shift, Deacon and Claus processes, hydrodesulfurizations and hydrogenations, selective reductions and...
Chapter
Laser ablation (LAL) and irradiation in liquids (LIL) are becoming two of the most studied and dominant ways of synthesis and modification for nanostructured materials. Such rapid development is due to a fast and economic way to obtain nanoparticles of any material. Starting from solid targets submerged in water or other liquids, it is possible to...
Research Proposal
Dear Colleagues, Since the first studies of Fujishima and Honda in the early 1970s dealing with the photocatalytic H2 production, photo-assisted catalytic processes have attracted a growing interest of academic and industrial researchers, promoting a multi-disciplinary approach involving materials science, catalysis, and environmental science. The...
Article
Laser irradiation in liquid is a green, low cost and tunable technique that can be used in order to improve solar photocatalytic activity of inorganic semiconductors. The interaction of the semiconductor and the dispersing medium is a key parameter to be investigated before and after the laser modification, since it can affect the final morphologic...
Article
Full-text available
The thermocatalytic, photocatalytic and photothermo-catalytic oxidation of some volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 2-propanol, ethanol and toluene, was investigated over brookite TiO 2-CeO 2 composites. The multi-catalytic approach based on the synergistic effect between solar photocatalysis and thermocatalysis led to the considerable decrease in t...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, the impending necessity to improve the quality of outdoor and indoor air has produced a constant increase of investigations in the methodologies to remove and/or to decrease the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Among the various strategies for VOC elimination, catalytic oxidation and recently photocatalytic oxidation...
Article
Full-text available
Three different Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) have been investigated for the degradation of the imidacloprid pesticide in water: photocatalysis, Fenton and photo-Fenton reactions. For these tests, we have compared the performance of two types of CeO 2 , employed as a non-conventional photocatalyst/Fenton-like material. The first one has been...
Article
In this work it is investigated the photodegradation of a widely used fungicide, i.e. the orto-phenylphenol (o-p. p.), through molecularly imprinted N-doped TiO 2 photocatalysts. The materials have been prepared by the sol-gel technique with an easy one-pot synthesis method. The structural, textural, and surface properties of the samples were evalu...
Article
Objective The necessity to have green and sustainable industrial processes has promoted new technologies for air and water purification together with the research of new energy sources. In this contest, the TiO2-based photocatalysis can be considered a promising route for both environmental applications aIn this work, we have investigated the photo...
Article
In order to achieve a selective removal of specific pesticides from water, we synthesized, through the sol-gel technique, molecularly imprinted TiO2 photocatalysts with the only use of the standard reactants for the TiO2 sol-gel synthesis together with the pesticide molecules, without any addition of further reactants, supports or matrices. It is a...
Article
Full-text available
We report here an investigation on the preferential oxidation of carbon monoxide in an H 2-rich stream (CO-PROX reaction) over mono and bimetallic Au-Ag samples supported on macro-mesoporous CeO 2. The highly porous structure of ceria and the synergistic effect, which occurs between the bimetallic Au-Ag system and the support, led to promising cata...
Chapter
Dear Colleagues, The quality of air and water is a crucial contemporary problem. The globalization economy and the rapid growth of new economic powers have given rise to new problems related to the environmental protection. The catalysis science has always given smart, green, and scale-up eco-friendly solutions. In the last year, together with the...
Article
In this work, we present an effective approach, based on the combination of the molecular imprinting process and the photocatalysis, to perform a selective degradation of a specific and toxic pesticide. The TiO2 photocatalyst was imprinted through a simple and easy scaling-up synthesis method. The herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4D), a...
Article
This paper focused for the first time on the comparison between three different approach to modify the chemico-physical properties of TiO2-based photocatalysts and their effect in the H2 production by photocatalytic water splitting both under UV and solar light irradiation, under the same experimental conditions. The application of pulsed laser irr...
Article
Full-text available
Two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials have received much attention in recent years, because of their unusual properties associated with their ultra-thin thickness and 2D morphology. Besides graphene, a new 2D material, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), has attracted immense interest in various applications. On the other hand, ball-milling process provides...
Article
The influence of the addition of different doping agents (N, W and Hf) on the macroporous TiO 2 photoactivity toward the Rhodamine B degradation and ethanol photo-oxidation was evaluated. The samples were characterized by XRD, XPS, SEM, TEM, N 2 adsorption-desorption, UV-vis Diffuse Reflectance and Photoluminescence spectroscopies to study also the...
Article
Full-text available
The catalytic performances of Ru/ceria-based catalysts in the CO preferential oxidation (CO-PROX) reaction are discussed here. Specifically, the effect of the addition of different oxides to Ru/CeO 2 has been assessed. The Ru/CeO 2-MnO x system showed the best performance in the 80-120 • C temperature range, advantageous for polymer-electrolyte mem...
Article
The influence of BiVO4 and CuO on the chemico-physical properties of TiO2-based systems is reported. The performances of these systems were investigated in the photocatalytic H2 production both under UV and solar light irradiation. The characterization data pointed out that the obtained TiO2 samples have highly porous inverse opal structures with i...
Article
Macro-mesoporous TiO2 inverse opal materials were synthesized and they were tested as photocatalysts under visible light irradiation. The influence of cerium oxide addition towards the Rhodamine B (RhB) photodegradation activity was evaluated. Structural, textural, spectral and surface properties of the TiO2-CeO2 inverse opal nanocomposites were st...
Article
Full-text available
This work investigates the effect of the addition of small amounts of Ru (0.5-1 wt%) to carbon supported Co (10 wt%) catalysts towards both NaBH 4 and NH 3 BH 3 hydrolysis for H 2 production. In the sodium borohydride hydrolysis, the activity of Ru-Co/carbon catalysts was sensibly higher than the sum of the activities of corresponding monometallic...
Presentation
Full-text available
This work aims to study the influence that different doping agents can have on the chemico-physical properties of TiO2 synthesized with the task to obtain an ordered porous material with an inverse opal structure and to evaluate the photocatalytic performance of these systems in the degradation of a model dye molecule (Rhodamine B, RhB) in water un...
Presentation
Full-text available
Hydrogen is a suitable energy carrier that can be directly produced using solar energy by means of photocatalytic water splitting. TiO2 is the most investigated photocatalyst for this purpose, but it has several disadvantages. To enhance the photocatalytic performance of TiO2, studies have been focused on changing the structure and the chemical com...
Presentation
Full-text available
Semiconductor photocatalysts have attracted a great deal of attention due to their potential application in environmental remediation. Titanium dioxide has been extensively investigated as the most promising photocatalyst1. To improve the optical response of TiO2 in the visible region, Inverse Opal TiO2 has been recognized as an efficient photocata...
Presentation
Full-text available
Photocatalysis with TiO2 is one of the most promising green process for the decomposition of organic pollutants and the hydrogen production [1, 2]. Photo-oxidation of 2-propanol, representative of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and photo-catalytic water splitting for H2 production were investigated over TiO2 catalysts doped with a metal (Au or Ag...
Poster
Full-text available
Photocatalytic and catalytic oxidation of 2-propanol (representative VOC’s compound) were compared over mixed (Au)TiO2-CeO2-based catalysts. The role of support in Au catalyzed oxidation reaction under photo and dark conditions was studied. In the photocatalytic oxidation CeO2 had a negative effect on the performance towards the alcohol conversion...
Article
Full-text available
A brush-like ZnO nanorods shell is grown by Chemical Bath Deposition on electrospun Zn(Ac)2 doped Polyethersulfone fibres. The obtained mats are water resistant and photocatalytically active, thus resulting suitable for applications in water purification. The used procedure is simple, cost-effective and scalable to large volumes. The use of support...
Poster
Full-text available
In the last years, photocatalysis with TiO2 was applied successfully to several processes, including hydrogen production, decomposition of organic pollutants and organic synthesis. Recently, photocatalytic water splitting has attracted large attention because of its great potential for low-cost and clean hydrogen production1. Loading of noble metal...
Article
Full-text available
The in silico principal properties (PPs) of ionic liquids (ILs), derived by means of the Volsurf+ approach, were used to develop a Partial Least Squares (PLS) model able to find a quantitative correlation among ILs descriptors (accounting for both cationic and anionic structural features) and heat capacity values, providing affordable predictions v...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Preferential oxidation of CO in the excess of H2 (PROX) was investigated over ceria supported mono and bimetallic Au-based catalysts (AuAg, AuCu, AuPd, AuRu) prepared by deposition–precipitation. An initial screening showed that the best systems in terms of CO2 yields were AuAg and AuCu. On these latter catalysts the deposition order did not affect...
Poster
Full-text available
The catalytic and the photocatalytic oxidation of 2-propanol (a representative VOC) were compared over doped TiO2-based catalysts. We studied the effect of different amount of cerium oxide as doping agent of TiO2 (P25 Degussa) and gold addition (1 wt%). In the catalytic oxidation (Tab. 1) doping titania with ceria (sample code TiCeXX%wt) increased...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The NH3BH3 hydrolysis over Ru catalysts supported on MFI zeolites was investigated, focusing on the role of the SiO2/Al2O3 ratio and comparing the performance of this system with those of Ru on other supports. The results showed that Ru/H-MFI30 was the most active system. It was proposed that the activity is affected from the accessibility of Ru on...
Research
Full-text available
Master degree thesysis: During the period of training in the laboratory of industrial and environmental catalysis I have study mono-and bimetallic catalysts based on gold for the oxidation of volatile organic compounds. The study involved several phases, such as the preparation of the catalysts and supports, measurements of catalytic activity and t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Preferential oxidation of CO in the excess of H2 (PROX) and combustion of volatile organic compounds (VOC) were investigated over mono and bimetallic Au-Ag/CeO2 and Au-Cu/CeO2 catalysts prepared by deposition–precipitation. In the PROX reaction (Fig. 1) bimetallic samples exhibited better performance than monometallic ones, with higher CO2 yields a...

Questions

Questions (8)
Question
In particular I'm studying  TiO2 doped with N, W and Hf systems. A slight shift to lower angle compared to the 25° degree of bare TiOcan be due to substitution of Ti ions? 
Are there some papers focused on  this phenomena? 
Question
I have noticed in my experiment with TiO2- based catalyst that after about 2h of UV irradiation the slope of H2 production rate curve change as the catalyst start to deactivate. Do you have any idea about the reason of this behavior or there are some papers that explain this deactivation process? 
Question
In particular, wirh Gc or volumetric method? There were some papers that talking about this?
Question
  1. There are papers that consider this possible correlation?
  2. It is possible that a higher SiO2/Al2O3 ratio (lower acidity) favour the dispersion and the formation of bigger metal particles?
Question
The formula is:
QE= 2 (number of evolved hydrogen molecules) / number of incident photons.
  1. In particular how determinate the number of incident photons? 
  2. There are some review or papers that reported the typical QE range?
  3. Some papers give the  hydrogen production results in umol/h other in mmol/h other in umol/gcath, what is the correct way?
  4. I have made some exsperiment with the volumethic method but I obtained results of hydrogen rate in mmol/h. A lot of papers are on the contrary in umol/h. Considering that I didn't use a sacrificial agent what mistakes Can I have made?

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Valorization of CO2 through capture and/or re-use
Project
The general goal is the improvement of the agriculture practices by nanotechnology. In details, each component of the project works to different aspects. In particular: Roberto Fiorenza: Selective degradation of pesticides in water by molecularly imprinted TiO2 photocatalysts. Marco Leonardi: High performance hybrid organi-inorganic nano-fertilizer based on Biopolymers and Metal Oxides Irene Conticello: Research based on Graphene, doped-graphene, and graphene based hybrid materials for water treatment