Simultaneous degradation and reduction of multiple organic compounds by poly(vinyl imidazole) cryogels templated Co, Ni, Cu metal nanoparticles
Superporous poly(vinyl imidazole) (p(VI)) cryogel was employed to prepare Co, Ni and Cu metal nanoparticles in situ. P(VI)-M cryogel composites catalytic performance in the degradation of methylene blue (MB), Eosin yellow (EY) and 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) reduction in the presence of NaBH4 in aqueous media was determined as Co>Cu>Ni for MB, Co>Ni>Cu for EY and Ni≈Co>Cu for 4-NP. Binary and tertiary mixtures of these substrates (dyes and 4-NP) were also used to assess the best catalytic performances of p(VI)-M composite and found that p(VI)-Co was the best catalyst with over 95% conversion in 5 min regardless of single, binary or tertiary substrate mixture. It was further shown that over 99% conversions for each substrate in MB+EY+4-NP triple mixture can be readily attained at around 30 min reaction times. P(VI)-Co composite catalyst are capable of simultaneous elimination of multiple toxic organic compounds from aqueous environments providing great opportunities in real applications.