Nano-materials are important in many diverse areas, from basic research to various applications in electronics, biochemical sensors, catalysis and energy. They have emerged as sustainable alternatives to conventional materials, as robust high surface area heterogeneous catalysts and catalyst supports. The nano-sized particles increase the exposed surface area of the active component of the catalyst, thereby enhancing the contact between reactants and catalyst dramatically and mimicking the homogeneous catalysts. This review focuses on the use of nano-catalysis for green chemistry development including the strategy of using microwave heating with nano-catalysis in benign aqueous reaction media which offers an extraordinary synergistic effect with greater potential than these three components in isolation. To illustrate the proof-of-concept of this “green and sustainable” approach, representative examples are discussed in this article.
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