Rice husk-SiO2 supported bimetallic Fe–Ni nanoparticles: as a new, powerful magnetic nanocomposite for the aqueous reduction of nitro compounds to amines
This paper reports a novel green procedure for immobilization of bimetallic Fe/Ni on amorphous silica nanoparticles extracted from rice husk (RH-SiO2). The heterogeneous nanocomposite (Fe/Ni@RH-SiO2) was identified using SEM, EDX, TEM, BET, H2-TPR, TGA, XRD, VSM, ICP-OES, and FT-IR analyses. The Fe/Ni@RH-SiO2 nanocomposite was applied as a powerful catalyst for the reduction of structurally diverse nitro compounds with sodium borohydride (NaBH4) in green conditions. This procedure suggests some benefits such as green chemistry-based properties, short reaction times, non-explosive materials, easy to handle, fast separation and simple work-up method. The catalyst was separated by an external magnet from the reaction mixture and was reused for 9 successive cycles with no detectable changes of its catalytic efficiency.