Supported metal nanoparticles with tailored catalytic properties through sol-immobilisation: applications for the hydrogenation of nitrophenols†
The use of sol-immobilisation to prepare supported metal nanoparticles is an area of growing importance in heterogeneous catalysis; it affords greater control of nanoparticle properties compared to conventional catalytic routes e.g. impregnation. This work, and other recent studies, demonstrate how the properties of the resultant supported metal nanoparticles can be tailored by adjusting the conditions of colloidal synthesis i.e. temperature and solvent. We further demonstrate the applicability of these methods to the hydrogenation of nitrophenols using a series of tailored Pd/TiO2 catalysts, with low Pd loading of 0.2 wt%. Here, the temperature of colloidal synthesis is directly related to the mean particle diameter and the catalytic activity. Smaller Pd particles (2.2 nm, k = 0.632 min−1, TOF = 560 h−1) perform better than their larger counterparts (2.6 nm, k = 0.350 min−1, TOF = 370 h−1) for the hydrogenation of p-nitrophenol, with the catalyst containing smaller NPs found to have increased stability during recyclability studies, with high activity (>90% conversion after 5 minutes) maintained across 5 catalytic cycles.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Designing Nanoparticle Systems for Catalysis