Biofuel production, hydrogen production and water remediation by photocatalysis, biocatalysis and electrocatalysis

Ahmed I. Osman*, Ahmed M. Elgarahy, Abdelazeem S. Eltaweil, Eman M. Abd El-Monaem, Hisham G. El-Aqapa, Yuri Park, Yuhoon Hwang, Ali Ayati, Mohamed Farghali, Ikko Ihara, Ala’a H. Al-Muhtaseb, David W. Rooney, Pow-Seng Yap*, Mika Sillanpää*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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The energy crisis and environmental pollution have recently fostered research on efficient methods such as environmental catalysis to produce biofuel and to clean water. Environmental catalysis refers to green catalysts used to breakdown pollutants or produce chemicals without generating undesirable by-products. For example, catalysts derived from waste or inexpensive materials are promising for the circular economy. Here we review environmental photocatalysis, biocatalysis, and electrocatalysis, with focus on catalyst synthesis, structure, and applications. Common catalysts include biomass-derived materials, metal–organic frameworks, non-noble metals nanoparticles, nanocomposites and enzymes. Structure characterization is done by Brunauer–Emmett–Teller isotherm, thermogravimetry, X-ray diffraction and photoelectron spectroscopy. We found that water pollutants can be degraded with an efficiency ranging from 71.7 to 100%, notably by heterogeneous Fenton catalysis. Photocatalysis produced dihydrogen (H2) with generation rate higher than 100 μmol h−1. Dihydrogen yields ranged from 27 to 88% by methane cracking. Biodiesel production reached 48.6 to 99%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1315-1379
Number of pages65
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry Letters
Issue number3
Early online date10 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Review Article
  • Environmental catalysis
  • Biocatalysis
  • Photocatalysis
  • Carbon-based catalyst
  • Biofuel


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