About this Research Topic
Today’s Chemistry is strongly oriented toward more sustainable synthesis procedures. However, in the chemical synthesis of materials, commercial precursors are still the major choice as elements source or additives. Since commercial precursors have their own economic, social and environmental cost, the use of waste-derived precursors would be highly desired. In fact, in the last decade, the number of literature studies about the use of waste-derived precursors has been considerably increased. Precursors derived from organic waste (ie.: cellulose-containing waste, food waste, and green waste) are the most studied, although research on inorganic waste (ie.: rice husks waste, electronic waste, and rust waste), is gaining interest. Often, waste-derived precursors are used in the chemical synthesis of materials for pollution control, environmental remediation or production, and storage of clean energy, thus closing the cycle of sustainability.
It is worth noticing that the use of waste-derived precursors for the synthesis of materials has some drawbacks. Each waste can be used as a specific element source or as an additive, although it also contains lots of other elements that will unavoidably affect the final materials properties. For this reason, each waste batch should be carefully characterized and the choice of the waste should be well-calibrated with the final material and its requirements. Incorrect sampling procedures may cause problems of scarce reproducibility of the final material. Not all the synthesis methodologies allow using insoluble waste, and thus complex extraction procedures are needed. In spite of all these drawbacks, it has been demonstrated that peculiar materials can be obtained from specific waste-derived precursors, taking advantage of the peculiarity of the waste. New synthesis procedures have to be invented and greater flexibility should be applied to maximize the economic and technological advantages of waste-derived materials production. This Research Topic will contribute to increase the knowledge on the use of waste-derived precursors in the synthesis of materials for energy and environmental applications, transforming a possibility in a real industrial-social opportunity.
This Research Topic is focused on the use of waste-derived precursors in the chemical synthesis of materials for environment and energy, including pollution control, environmental remediation and clean energy storage and production. Organic waste, like biomass, food waste or cellulose and cotton waste, is most commonly considered in the chemical synthesis, but the use of soluble/insoluble inorganic wastes, like electronic waste or metal and metal oxide-containing waste, is strongly encouraged. A comparison with commercial precursors is required. Original Research is preferred, although Mini-Reviews and Perspective are also welcomed. Specific themes include (but are not limited to):
• Isolation and characterization of new precursors from unexplored inorganic or organic waste (i.e.: industrial, urban or household waste) for the chemical synthesis of materials
• New or more sustainable procedures for the chemical synthesis of materials, using waste-derived precursors already explored in the literature
• Chemical synthesis of new materials by using waste-derived precursors already explored
• Relationships between waste-derived precursors and chemical properties of the final material
• Evaluation of advantages and drawbacks in the use of a specific waste-derived precursor
Keywords: Sustainable precursors, chemical synthesis, materials for the environment, waste valorization, materials for clean energy
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