Innovative benign-by-design flow chemistry protocols: from bio(nano)materials synthesis to biomass/waste valorisation
Biomaterials featuring outstanding natural properties have shown promising potential for numerous applications, especially in wastewater treatment and catalysis. This contribution aims to briefly introduce the concepts of microfluidic fabrication and continuous flow process for the benign-by-design nanomaterials synthesis, showcasing some selected examples of innovative biomaterials in the field of wastewater treatment and catalysis.
The interest and excitement in the field of biomaterials design and applications has been a hot topic in recent years. Biomaterials, original from either natural sources or synthetic polymers, exhibit a number of unique properties being also widely available, biocompatible and biodegradable for several applications in catalysis, wastewater treatment and biomedicine (1, 2). Up to now, various synthetic methodologies have been reported for biomaterials design which include spray-drying, precipitation polymerization, coacervation, emulsion crosslinking and microfluidics. With the rapid development of microfluidic technology, there is an opportunity to create active biomaterials with precisely controlled morphologies. However, the synthesis process always comes with changes in activity which can significantly influence their applications. For catalytic applications, the activity of a catalyst can be irreversibly reduced, potentially leading to deactivation. Comparably, the adsorption capacity can decrease in wastewater treatment. In this regard, an appropriate rational design and post-synthetic processes are employed with this purpose. Both chem ...