The recycling of chemicals and generation of alternative energy are central topics in the efforts toward sustainable development. Among these, research on plastics recycling and fuel cells has received significant attention, with the aim of designing novel catalysts to improve yield and efficiency. We highlight our work on these areas focusing on the chemical depolymerization of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to recover its constituent monomer and the development of high-performance anode catalysts for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). We demonstrate various flexible yet practical synthesis strategies (e.g. ultrasound-assisted deposition and biopolymer coating) that were used to obtain catalytic properties optimized for these applications. The effectiveness and simplicity of these methods render the catalysts to be truly green — from synthesis up to process application.
Part of the book: Advanced Catalytic Materials