Challenges of Synthesis and Environmental Applications of Metal-Free Nano-heterojunctions

  • Vagner R. de MendonçaEmail author
  • Osmando F. Lopes
  • André E. Nogueira
  • Gelson T. S. T. da Silva
  • Caue Ribeiro
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 29)


The rapid and unceasing population growth, concomitant with the need for economic development, has led to numerous environmental problems. The most remarkable problems are the release of pesticides in ground water or carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In this context, nanomaterials are becoming increasingly vital for environmental protection due to their versatile compositions and means of application.

It is well established that most of research devoted to environmental applications of heterostructures, materials made up of semiconductors that share a common interface, have addressed the degradation of organic contaminants in water. However, there are several emerging uses of heterostructures, for example, in gaseous systems as chemical reaction promoters and gas sensors.

Since the properties presented by nanomaterials are strictly related to the morphology of the solid, the development of controllable and reproducible synthesis methods are one of the major focus of research in materials science. Currently, there is intense research towards synthesis methods able to produce heterostructures with controlled morphology and structural/surface properties useful for environmental applications.

In this chapter, we discuss innovative approaches for synthesis of heterostructures, giving examples of several different systems, and applications beyond degradation of contaminants in water via heterogeneous photocatalysis, such as photoreduction/oxidation of metallic ions and gas-phase reactions, showing the versatility of such materials.


Photocatalysis Photodegradation Photoreduction Nanomaterials Environmental Wastewater treatment Carbon dioxide photoreduction Heavy metal abatement Heterostructures Semiconductors 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vagner R. de Mendonça
    • 1
    Email author
  • Osmando F. Lopes
    • 2
  • André E. Nogueira
    • 3
  • Gelson T. S. T. da Silva
    • 4
    • 5
  • Caue Ribeiro
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Federal Institute of EducationScience and Technology of São PauloItapetininga-SPBrazil
  2. 2.Institute of ChemistryFederal University of UberlândiaUberlândia-MGBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry, Institute of Exact and Biological SciencesFederal University of Ouro PretoOuro Preto-MGBrazil
  4. 4.Department of ChemistryFederal University of São CarlosSão Carlos-SPBrazil
  5. 5.Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK-3)Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbHGermany
  6. 6.Embrapa InstrumentationSão Carlos-SPBrazil

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