Since graphene was isolated from graphite, different researches have been developed around it. The versatility of graphene properties and their derivates, such as graphene oxide or doped and functionalized graphene materials have expanded the possible applications of these nanostructures. The areas studied of graphene include the following: nanocomposites, drug delivery, transistors, quantum dots, optoelectronic, storage energy, sensors, catalyst support, supercapacitors, among others. However, other important field of these materials is their applications in environment, mainly in the removal of pollutants in water. In this context, there are two possible alternatives to use graphene materials in water purification: photocatalysis and adsorption. In the first case, the key is related to the bandgap and semiconductors properties of these materials, also the versatility of different graphene structures after the oxidation or functionalization, play an important role to get different arrangements useful in photocatalysis and avoid recombination, one of the problems of typical semiconductors photocatalysts. In the second case, surface area and useful chemical groups in carbon material give different options to produce efficient adsorbents depending on different synthesis conditions. Thus, this book chapter covers a review of the photocatalytic activity of graphene materials with emphasis in the removal of organic pollutants and heavy metals from water, in the next topics: graphene-based semiconductor photocatalyst and graphene oxide as photocatalyst. On the other hand, the chapter also discusses the research related to the removal of organic compounds and heavy metals using graphene materials as adsorbents, the topics in this second part are as follows: graphene and graphene oxide as adsorbent of heavy metals from water, graphene, and graphene oxide as adsorbent of organic pollutants from water, functionalized graphene materials as adsorbent of water pollutants, carbon nanomaterials vs. graphene as adsorbents. Therefore, the book chapter presents a review and the discussion of the keys that play an important role in the advances in the research of graphene materials as photocatalysts. In addition, the isotherms and kinetic that produce these materials as adsorbents are also reviewed and discussed, because adsorption process in these materials is important to remove pollutants from water, but also for adsorption is a first step to achieve photocatalyst. The future of this topic in graphene materials is also analyzed.
Part of the book: Semiconductor Photocatalysis
The use of 2D nanocarbon materials as scaffolds for the functionalization with different molecules has been rising as a result of their outstanding properties. This chapter describes the synthesis of graphene and its derivatives, particularly graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO). Both GO and rGO represent a tunable alternative for applications with biomolecules due to the oxygenated moieties, which allow interactions in a either covalent or non‐covalent way. From here, other discussed topics are the biofunctionalization with keratin (KE) and chitosan (CS). The non‐covalent functionalization is based primarily on secondary interactions such as van der Waals forces, electrostatics interactions, or π–π stacking formed between KE or CS with graphenic materials. On the other hand, covalent functionalization with KE and CS is mainly based on the reaction among the functional groups present in those biomolecules and the graphenic materials. As a result of the functionalization, different applications have been proposed for these novel materials, which are reviewed in order to offer an overview about the possible fields of application of 2D nanocarbon materials. In a nutshell, the objective of this work is as follows: first, overhaul different aspects about the synthesis of graphene chemically obtained, and second, make a review of different approaches in the functionalization of 2D carbon materials with specific biomolecules.
Part of the book: Recent Advances in Graphene Research
Phenolic compounds are important industrial wastes, and are classified as hazardous substances contaminating groundwater resources. Therefore, the removal or diminish of these organics compounds in order to reach the permitted levels before discharging becomes a challenging. Several processes have been developed to remove phenolic compounds from waters, including electrochemical oxidation, redox reactions, membrane separation and photocatalytic degradation. Recently, tendency of phenolic compounds removal involves adsorption and photocatalytic process, using synthetic or natural particles, such as carbon materials and clays. Actually, materials in nanometric scale play an important role in the processes previously mention due to their unique chemical and physical properties. In this book chapter, the first part shows the chemical properties of phenolic compounds that play an important role in the removal process. In the second part, different materials in macro, micro and nanosize used as adsorbents or photocatalysts are reviewed. In addition, other removal processes of phenolic compounds as electrochemistry and redox reactions are included. The removal conditions in these process, such as pH, adsorbate and adsorbent concentration are analyzed and discussed. Furthermore, special emphasis is included in micro and nanocarbon materials, used as adsorbents or photocatalyst to remove phenol from water in recently researches.
Part of the book: Phenolic Compounds