Facile synthesis of highly stable heterogeneous catalysts by entrapping metal nanoparticles within mesoporous carbon†
Cycling instability is a persisting problem in heterogeneous catalysis. Here we report an efficient strategy to enhance the recyclability of the heterogeneous catalysts by in situ entrapment of active nanoparticles in mesoporous carbon. A hard template method was used to fabricate the desired catalyst, where Al2O3 was employed as the template and polyphenols were used as carbon source as well as the stabilizing agent. Based on N2 adsorption/desorption analysis, the catalysts adopt the high surface area of the Al2O3 template and feature mesoporous pores. Additionally, the noble metal nanoparticles (Pd) were found to be well entrapped inside the carbon matrix with good dispersion. The as-prepared catalysts were highly active in various heterogeneous hydrogenations of CC containing substrates (quinoline, cinnamaldehyde, etc.) and exhibited excellent cycling stability without any significant loss of activity for 10 recycles, which is superior to that of the commercial Pd/C catalyst.