Heterogeneous catalysis is one of the fastest developing branches of chemistry. Moreover, it is strongly connected to popular environment-related applications. Owing to the very fast changes in this field, for example, numerous discoveries in nanoscience and nanotechnologies, it is believed that an update of the literature on heterogeneous catalysis could be beneficial. This review not only covers the new developments of heterogeneous catalysis in environmental sciences but also touches its historical aspects. A short introduction to the mechanism of heterogeneous catalysis with a small section on advances in this field has also been elaborated. In the first part, recent innovations in the field of catalytic air, water, wastewater and soil treatment are presented, whereas in the second part, innovations in the use of heterogeneous catalysis for obtaining sustainable energy and chemicals are discussed. Catalytic processes are ubiquitous in all branches of chemistry and there are still many unsolved issues concerning them.
Recently electrospinning has gained significant attention due to unique possibilities to produce novel natural nanofibers and fabrics with controllable pore structure. The present study focuses on the fabrication of electrospun fibres based on gum karaya (GK), a natural tree gum, with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), and functionalization of the membrane with TiO2 nanoparticles with further methane plasma treatment. The GK/PVA/TiO2 membrane was analyzed with several techniques including: fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), and water contact angle, in order to characterize its morphological and physicochemical properties. The GK/PVA/TiO2 membrane was further successfully used for the degradation (under UV irradiation) of bisphenol A and diclofenac from aqueous solution. It was also observed that the degradation kinetics of these compounds are faster in comparison to the UV treatment alone.