Synthesis of high surface area transition metal sponges and their catalytic properties
We have reported sucrose-mediated facile route for the preparation of high surface area cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni), and copper (Cu) sponges. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed the sponge-like and nanoparticle-like morphologies of the metal sponges. The catalytic activity of the metal sponges was studied via the reduction of organic pollutants, including 4-nitrophenol (4-NP), methyl orange (MO) and methylene blue (MB) in water. It was found that the Cu sponge exhibited the fastest rate for the reduction of 4-NP, MO, and MB, followed by the Co and Ni sponges, respectively. The metal sponges exhibited excellent catalytic stability for the reduction of 4-NP for multiple cycles. In addition, due to their magnetic properties, the Co and Ni sponges could be easily recovered and reused by applying an external magnetic field.