Environmental Nanotechnologies

Head of the Division:

Mgr. Jan Filip, Ph.D.

Dr. Jan Filip received his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Mineralogy at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic (2002 and 2008) with dissertation focused on crystal chemistry of borosilicate minerals and OH defects in nominally-anhydrous minerals. In 2005 he joined the research group of Prof. Radek Zbořil and currently he is working as a Senior Researcher and a Head of the group “Environmental nanotechnologies” of the Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials, Faculty of Science, of Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic.

He underwent several foreign stays (University of Silesia in Sosnowiec, Poland; University of Vienna, Austria; Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden) and is actively engaged in national and international collaborations, as well as in scientific coordination of several national projects. His research interests covers synthesis of zero-valent iron nanoparticles, ferrates(IV,V,VI) and iron oxide nanoparticles, their detailed characterization and applications in technologies of water treatment, identification and fate of nanoparticles in the environment, and application of X-ray based techniques (XRD, XPS, XRF) in material science. He has coauthored over 70 papers in refereed journals.

About the group

The main emphasis of the “Environmental Nanogroups” at RCPTM has been the design and development of advanced nanomaterials and technologies for the applications in environmental chemistry including sustainable applications in catalysis. Presently, our group is working on three major areas: 1) Earth-abundant materials for environmental applications, 2) benign catalytic applications and 3) photo- and electrochemical applications. The first area encompasses the development of iron-based species (namely zero-valent iron, ferrates etc.), for the environmental applications including water purification by removal of toxic materials, investigation of ecotoxicity of metal-based nanoparticles etc. The second area focusses on the catalytic applications of metal, metal-oxide, carbon-based nanomaterials for important organic transformations. In this category, our progress in the field of iron-oxide supported catalytic systems offers unique advantages of high recyclability and magnetic separations, thereby making such processes more environmentally friendly as well as economical. In addition, our recently installed state-of-the-art microwave and “Flow reactor” also contributes significantly in enhancing the productivity of the group. Finally, the recent upsurge in the field of photo- and electro-chemistry particularly for their energy-related applications including solar cells, electrocatalysis etc. have also prompted us to be a part of this endeavor and we have been engaged in developing novel materials to be applied in photo- and electrochemical applications.

As these areas are quite inter-related, given the strength of our group members with different expertise, we have also been continuing our successful collaboration not only within the groups, but also outside the group (both at academic as well as industrial levels).

Research Areas:

  • Zero-valent iron chemistry and applications
  • High-valence states of iron – ferrates (IV,V,VI)
  • Catalysis, green chemistry
  • Carbon supported catalysis
  • Core-shell nanocatalysis
  • Ecotoxicity of NPs
  • Photoelectrochemistry, solar cells, light harvesting

Results highlights – Publications:

M. Gawande, A. Goswami, F. Felpin, T. Asefa, X. Huang, R. Silva, X. Zou, R. Zboril, R. Varma. Cu and Cu-Based Nanoparticles: Synthesis and Applications in Catalysis, CHEM. REV., vol. 116, pp. 3722–3811, 2016.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.5b00482, IF = 46.568
V.K. Sharma, J. Filip, R. Zboril, R.S. Varma. Natural Inorganic Nanoparticles – Formation, Fate, and Toxicity in the Environment. – CHEM. SOC. REV., vol. 44, pp. 8410-8423, 2015.
DOI: 10.1039/C5CS00236B, IF = 33.383
M. Gawande, A. Goswami, T. Asefa, H. Guo, A. Biradar, D.-L. Peng, R. Zboril, R. Varma. Core-shell nanoparticles: synthesis and applications in catalysis and electro-catalysis. CHEM. SOC. REV., vol. 44, pp. 7540-7590, 2015.
DOI: 10.1039/C5CS00343A, IF = 33.38
A.K. Rathi, M.B. Gawande, J. Pechousek, J. Tucek, C. Aparicio, M. Petr, O. Tomanec, R. Krikavova, Z. Travnicek, R.S. Varma, R. Zboril. Maghemite decorated with ultra-small palladium nanoparticles (γ-Fe2O3–Pd): applications in the Heck–Mizoroki olefination, Suzuki reaction and allylic oxidation of alkenes. GREEN CHEM., vol. 18, pp. 2363-2373, 2016.
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC02264A, IF = 8.02
K.J. Datta, M.B. Gawande, K.K.R. Datta, V. Ranc, J. Pechousek, M. Krizek, J. Tucek, R. Kale, P. Pospisil, R.S. Varma, T. Asefa, G. Zoppellaro, R. Zboril. Micro-Mesoporous Iron Oxides with Record Efficiency for Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide: Morphology Driven Catalysis for Degradation of Organic Contaminants. J. MATER. CHEM. A, vol. 4, pp. 596-604, 2016.
DOI: 10.1039/C5TA08386A, IF= 7.443
K.J. Datta, K.K.R. Datta, M.B. Gawande, V. Ranc, K. Čépe, V. Malgras, Y. Yamauchi, R.S. Varma, R. Zboril. Pd@Pt Core-Shell Nanoparticles with Branched Dandelion-like Morphology as Highly Efficient Catalysts for Olefin Reduction. CHEM. EUR. J., vol. 22, pp. 1577-1581, 2016.
DOI: 10.1002/chem.201503441, IF= 5.731
M. Baikousi, Y. Georgiou, Ch. Daikopoulos, A. Bourlinos, J. Filip, R. Zboril, Y. Deligiannakis, M. Karakassides. Synthesis and Characterization of Robust Zero Valent Iron/Mesoporous Carbon Composites and Their Applications in Arsenic Removal. CARBON, vol. 93, pp. 636-647, 2015.
DOI: 10.1016/j.carbon.2015.05.081, IF= 6.196
E. Petala, M. Baikousi, M.A. Karakassides, G .Zoppellaro, J. Filip, J. Tucek, K.C. Vasilopoulos, J. Pechousek, R. Zboril. Synthesis, physical properties and application of the zero-valent iron/titanium dioxide heterocomposite having high activity for the sustainable photocatalytic removal of hexavalent chromium in water, PHYS. CHEM. CHEM. PHYS., vol. 18, pp. 10637-10646, 2016.
DOI: 10.1039/C6CP01013J, IF= 4.493
P. Slovák, O. Malina, J. Kašlík, O. Tomanec, J. Tuček, M. Petr, J. Filip, G. Zoppellaro, R. Zbořil. Zero-Valent Iron Nanoparticles with Unique Spherical 3D Architectures Encode Superior Efficiency in Copper Entrapment. ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEM. ENG., vol. 4, pp. 2748-2753, 2016.
DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.6b00242, IF= 4.642
R.K. Sharma, M. Yadav, Y. Monga, R. Gaur, A. Adholeya, R. Zboril, R.S. Varma, M.B. Gawande. Silica-Based Magnetic Manganese Nanocatalyst - Applications in the Oxidation of Organic Halides and Alcohols. ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEM. ENG., vol. 4, pp. 1123-1130, 2016.
DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.5b01183, IF= 4.642
I. Safarik, N. Ashoura, Z. Maderova, K. Pospiskova, E. Baldikova, M. Safarikova. Magnetically modified Posidonia oceanica biomass as an adsorbent for organic dyes removal. MEDIT. MAR. SCI., vol. 17/2, pp. 351-358, 2016.
DOI: 10.12681/mms.1549, IF= 1,505
I. Safarik, L. Nydlova, K. Pospiskova, E.Baldikova, Z. Maderova, M. Safarikova. Rapid determination of iron oxide content in magnetically modified particulate materials. PARTICULOGY, vol 26, pp. 114-117, 2015.
DOI: 10.1016/j.partic.2015.11.001, IF= 2,11
I. Safarik, K. Pospiskova, E.Baldikova, Z. Maderova, M. Safarikova. Magnetic modification of cells. In: Applications of NanoBioMaterials, Volume II: Engineering of NanoBioMaterials (Grumezescu,A., ed.), ELSEVIER, pp. 145-180, 2016.
I. Safarik, Z. Maderova, K. Horska, E. Baldikova, K. Pospiskova, M. Safarikova. Spent rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) tea biomass as an adsorbent for organic dyes removal. BIOREMEDIAT. J., vol. 19, pp. 183-187, 2016.
DOI: 10.1080/10889868.2014.979279, IF= 0.5
K. Pospiskova, I. Safarik. Magnetically responsive enzyme powders. J. MAGN. MAGN. MATER., vol. 380, pp. 197-200, 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmmm.2014.10.037, IF= 1.97
M. B. Gawande, S. N. Shelke, R. Zboril, R. S. Varma: Microwave-Assisted Chemistry: Synthetic Applications for Rapid Assembly of Nanomaterials and Organics, ACCOUNTS OF CHEMICAL RESEARCH, vol. 47, iss. 4, pp. 1338-1348, 2014.
DOI: 10.1021/ar400309b, IF = 22.32
V. K. Sharma, R. Zboril, R. S. Varma: Ferrates: Greener Oxidants with Multimodal Action in Water Treatment Technologies, ACCOUNTS OF CHEMICAL RESEARCH, vol. 48, iss. 2, pp. 182-191, 2015.
DOI: 10.1021/ar5004219, IF = 22.32
A. K. Rathi, M. B. Gawande, R. Zboril, R. S. Varma: Microwave-assisted synthesis – Catalytic applications in aqueous media, COORDINATION CHEMISTRY REVIEWS, vol. 291, pp. 68-94, 2015.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2015.01.011, IF = 12.239
M. B. Gawande, A. K. Rathi, J. Tucek, K. Safarova, N. Bundaleski, O. M. N. D. Teodoro, L. Kvitek, R. S. Varma, R. Zboril: Magnetic gold nanocatalyst (nanocat-Fe–Au): catalytic applications for the oxidative esterification and hydrogen transfer reactions, GREEN CHEMISTRY, vol. 16, iss. 9, pp. 4137, 2014.
DOI: 10.1039/c4gc00774c, IF = 8.02
M. B. Gawande, Y. Monga, R. Zboril, R. Sharma: Silica-decorated magnetic nanocomposites for catalytic applications, COORDINATION CHEMISTRY REVIEWS, vol. 288, pp. 118-143, 2015.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2015.01.001, IF = 12.239
S. Saá, M. B. Gawande, A. Velhinho, J. P. Veiga, N. Bundaleski, J. Trigueiro, A. Tolstogouzov, O. M. Teodoro, R. Zboril, R. S. Varma and P. Branco: "Magnetically recyclable magnetite-palladium (Nanocat-Fe-Pd) nanocatalyst for the Buchwald-Hartwig reaction", GREEN CHEM., vol. 16, pp. 3494-3500, 2014.
DOI: 10.1039/c4gc00558a, IF = 6.852
A. S. Burange, M. B. Gawande, F. L. Y. Lam, R. V. Jayaram, R. Luque: Heterogeneously catalyzed strategies for the deconstruction of high density polyethylene: plastic waste valorisation to fuels, GREEN CHEM., vol. 17, iss. 1, pp. 146-156, 2015.
DOI: 10.1039/c4gc01760a, IF = 8.020
R. K. Sharma, S. Sharma, S. Dutta, R. Zboril, M. B. Gawande: Silica-nanosphere-based organic–inorganic hybrid nanomaterials: synthesis, functionalization and applications in catalysis, GREEN CHEM., vol. 17, pp. 3207-3230, 2015.
DOI: 10.1039/c5gc00381d IF = 8.020
M. B. Gawande: Metal-Catalyzed Reactions in Water CHEMSUSCHEM, 2015.
DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201500663, IF- 7.65
V. Sharma, K. Siskova, R. Zboril and J. Gardea-Torresdey: "Organic-coated silver nanoparticles in biological and environmental conditions: Fate, stability and toxicity", ADVANCES IN COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE, vol. 204, pp. 15-34, 2014.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cis.2013.12.002, IF = 8.636
M. B. Gawande, R. Zboril, V. Malgras, Y. Yamauchi: Integrated nanocatalysts: a unique class of heterogeneous catalysts, J. MATER. CHEM. A, vol. 3, iss. 16, pp. 8241-8245, 2015.
DOI: 10.1039/c5ta00119f, IF = 7.443
I. Safarik, G. Prochazkova, K. Pospiskova, T. Branyik: Magnetically modified microalgae and their applications, CRITICAL REVIEWS IN BIOTECHNOLOGY, pp. 1-11, 2015.
DOI: 10.3109/07388551.2015.1064085, IF = 7.178
M. d’Halluin, T. Mabit, N. Fairley, V. Fernandez, M. B. Gawande, E. Le Grognec, F. Felpin: Graphite-supported ultra-small copper nanoparticles – Preparation, characterization and catalysis applications, CARBON, vol. 93, pp. 974-983, 2015.
DOI: 10.1016/j.carbon.2015.06.017, IF= 6.19
A. K. Rathi, M. B. Gawande, V. Ranc, J. Pechousek, M. Petr, K. Cepe, R. S. Varma, R. Zboril: Continuous flow hydrogenation of nitroarenes, azides and alkenes using maghemite–Pd nanocomposites, CATAL. SCI. TECHNOL., vol. 6, pp. 152-160, 2015.
DOI: 10.1039/c5cy00956a, IF = 5.426
R. Prucek, J. Tuček, J. Kolařík, I. Hušková, J. Filip, R. S. Varma, V. K. Sharma, R. Zbořil: Ferrate(VI)-Prompted Removal of Metals in Aqueous Media: Mechanistic Delineation of Enhanced Efficiency via Metal Entrenchment in Magnetic Oxides, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, vol. 49, iss. 4, pp. 2319-2327, 2015.
DOI: 10.1021/es5048683, IF = 5.3
Z. Marková, K. M. Šišková, J. Filip, J. Čuda, M. Kolář, K. Šafářová, I. Medřík, R. Zbořil: Air Stable Magnetic Bimetallic Fe–Ag Nanoparticles for Advanced Antimicrobial Treatment and Phosphorus Removal, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, vol. 47, iss. 10, pp. 5285-5293, 2013.
DOI: 10.1021/es304693g, IF = 5.3
J. Soukupova, R. Zboril, I. Medrik, J. Filip, K. Safarova, R. Ledl, M. Mashlan, J. Nosek, M. Cernik: Highly concentrated, reactive and stable dispersion of zero-valent iron nanoparticles: Direct surface modification and site application, CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL, vol. 262, pp. 813-822, 2015.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2014.10.024, IF = 4.3
A. Panáček, A. Balzerová, R. Prucek, V. Ranc, R. Večeřová, V. Husičková, J. Pechoušek, J. Filip, R. Zbořil, L. Kvítek: Preparation, characterization and antimicrobial efficiency of Ag/PDDA-diatomite nanocomposite, COLLOIDS AND SURFACES B: BIOINTERFACES, vol. 110, pp. 191-198, 2013.
DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2013.04.031, IF = 4.1

Nanoparticles of metallic iron with inorganic surface layer (image captured by transmission electron microscope).

Composite material of Fe0 nanoparticles immobilized on the surface of Fe0 microparticles (image captured by scanning electron microscope).

Scheme of groundwater treatment technologies based on application of zero valent iron.

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) PHI 5000 VersaProbe II („XPS scanning microprobe“). Multi-technique XPS instrument equipped by e.g. flow through high pressure reactor or floating column sputter ion gun.

Graphical abstract of the article: V. K. Sharma, R. Zboril, R. S. Varma: Ferrates: Greener Oxidants with Multimodal Action in Water Treatment Technologies, ACC. CHEM. RES., vol. 48, iss. 2, pp. 182-191, 2015, DOI: 10.1021/ar5004219.

Graphical abstract of the article: M. B. Gawande, R. Zboril, V. Malgras, Y. Yamauchi: Integrated nanocatalysts: a unique class of heterogeneous catalysts, J. MATER. CHEM. A, vol. 3, iss. 16, pp. 8241-8245, 2015, DOI: 10.1039/c5ta00119f.

Current Research group members >>

Key Instrumentation

  • XRD/SAXS (J. Kašlík/C.J.S. Aparicio)

  • XPS (M. Petr) - catalogue sheet

  • AAS (J. Kolařík) - catalogue sheet

  • Flow reactor (A.K. Rathi)

  • Microwave reactor (A. Goswami)

  • Stopped-flow/rapid-freezing instrument (P. Zajíček)

Research/applied projects



Environmental friendly nanotechnologies and biotechnologies in water and soil treatment, 2012-2019, 316 M CZK, 9 partners (TAČR – Centre of Competence)


Nanotechnology solutions for in-situ soil and groundwater remediation, 2013-2016, 10.4 mil. €, 29 partners from 12 countries (EU 7FP)


Advanced nanotechnologies to minimize impact of escaped hazardous chemical substances endangering population, 2016-2019, UPOL – 31.5 M CZK (The Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic)


Nanomaterials and nanotechnologies for environment protection and sustainable future (Research Infrastructure, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports)

JIC Voucher

Ag-modification of nanofibre filtration membrains, 2015-2016, 200 thousand CZK

Innovation voucher of Olomouc Region

Application of modern nanotechnology for water treatment, 2016, 242 thousand CZK



Network for cooperation of academic institution and private sector in the field of environmentally friendly water and soil treatment, 07/2013-06/2015, 40 M CZK (OPVK, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports)


Development and utilization of diffuse reactive barriers based on microFe and nanoFe for remediation (Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech R.)


Advanced technologies for sanitary and toxicological treatment of wastewater plant outlet (Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic)