New catalysts for oxidative polymerization, based on synthetic models of tyrosinase, supported on inorganic materials will be prepared and evaluated for phenol oxidation which is a potential method for phenol removal from wastewater. The first objective of the project will be (i)to synthesize new aminoacids/peptides - precursors and to polymerize them via sol-gel procedure (ii) to graft the aminoacids/peptides on modified silica and clay.
The second step will be to incorporate metal ions, expecially Cu(II) which plays an active role in oxidation catalysis, in the new materials. The final step will be to study the ability of these new mixed Organic-Inorganic materials, to catalyze the oxidative polymeriza- tion of phenols by 02. Their catalytic properties will be compared with those of previously described catalytic systems.
The expected result is a higher catalytic reactivity, as these 'artificial enzymes' will mimic more efficiently the natural enzymes like tyrosinase.