Special Issue "Synthesis of Nanostructured Catalytic Materials from Microemulsions"


A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Associate Prof. Dr. Magali Boutonnet
Division of Chemical Technology, School of Chemistry, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH), Teknikringen 42, SE-10044, Stockholm, Sweden
Website: http://researchprojects.kth.se/index.php/pb_294/pb.html
Interests: Design, synthesis and characterization of nanostructured catalysts in microemulsion media; Molecular structure-performance relationships at the surface of functional materials; Heterogeneous catalysis (Production of Biofuels from Gasified Biomass and natural gas such as diesel, ethanol via the following catalytic processes: Fisher Tropsch, water gas shift, hydro-cracking, partial oxidation or catalytic combustion etc.); Functionalized nanostructured materials for water treatment
Guest Editor
Dr. Margarita Sanchez-Dominguez
Centro de Investigacion en Materiales Avanzados (CIMAV, S.C.), Unidad Monterrey, Alianza Norte 202, 66600 Apodaca, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Website: http://mty.cimav.edu.mx/masanchez/indexen.html
Interests: Design and synthesis of nanostructured materials in microemulsion media, including hybrid nanocrystals and hierarchical nanostructures;Nanomaterials for photocatalysis (degradation of contaminants and hydrogen production by water splitting) and for heterogeneous catalysis;Nanomaterials for antibacterial and electronic applications; Functionalization of nanomaterials and their incorporation into nanocomposites for various applications; Surfactant systems (microemulsions, nanoemulsions, emulsions, vesicles) for household applications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is a growing interest in the use of the microemulsion method for synthesizing nanostructured catalysts. This method offers several advantages over alternative methods: namely, the use of simple equipment, the possibility of preparing a great variety of materials with a high degree of particle size and composition control, the formation of nanoparticles that oftentimes possess crystalline structure and high specific surface area, and the use of soft conditions of synthesis that are near ambient temperature and pressure.

Materials synthesized with the (water-in-oil) w/o microemulsion method exhibit unique surface properties. For example, nano-catalysts prepared by this method show better performance (i.e., in terms of activity and selectivity) than those prepared by other methods. Recent advances have also broadened the scope of the microemulsion method’s utility (with regard to nanoparticle synthesis). Water-in-oil (w/o) microemulsion method has been used since 1982. Since then, novel approaches that are based on oil-in-water (o/w) and bicontinuous microemulsions have emerged over the last four years, and the materials synthesized by these methods are also being evaluated as catalysts.

This Special Issue will focus on recent progress in the catalytic applications of nanostructured materials synthesized by microemulsion-based methods. We invite contributions regarding all types of heterogeneous catalysis applications, including photo-catalysis and electro-catalysis.

Associate Prof. Dr. Magali Boutonnet
Dr. Margarita Sanchez-Dominguez
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Catalysts is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs).


  • microemulsion
  • nanoreactors
  • nanoparticles
  • noble metal
  • metal
  • metal oxide
  • catalyst support
  • catalyst preparation
  • heterogeneous catalysis

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Displaying article 1-5
p. 442-459
by , , ,  and
Catalysts 2015, 5(1), 442-459; doi:10.3390/catal5010442
Received: 26 December 2014 / Revised: 18 February 2015 / Accepted: 27 February 2015 / Published: 19 March 2015
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis of Nanostructured Catalytic Materials from Microemulsions)
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p. 88-105
by , ,  and
Catalysts 2015, 5(1), 88-105; doi:10.3390/catal5010088
Received: 3 September 2014 / Revised: 9 December 2014 / Accepted: 26 January 2015 / Published: 6 February 2015
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis of Nanostructured Catalytic Materials from Microemulsions)
p. 375-396
by  and
Catalysts 2014, 4(4), 375-396; doi:10.3390/catal4040375
Received: 31 August 2014 / Revised: 12 November 2014 / Accepted: 18 November 2014 / Published: 28 November 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis of Nanostructured Catalytic Materials from Microemulsions)
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p. 356-374
by , , ,  and
Catalysts 2014, 4(4), 356-374; doi:10.3390/catal4040356
Received: 11 July 2014 / Revised: 9 September 2014 / Accepted: 16 September 2014 / Published: 3 November 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis of Nanostructured Catalytic Materials from Microemulsions)
p. 256-275
by , ,  and
Catalysts 2014, 4(3), 256-275; doi:10.3390/catal4030256
Received: 19 March 2014 / Revised: 9 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 June 2014 / Published: 1 July 2014
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Catalytic Activity of Mono- and Bimetallic Nanoparticles synthesized via Microemulsions
Authors: Ramona Y.G. König 1, Michael Schwarze 2, Reinhard Schomäcker 2 and Cosima Stubenrauch 1
1 Universität Stuttgart, Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Pfaffenwaldring 55, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
2 Technische Universität Berlin, Fakultät II, Institut für Chemie, Straße des 17. Juni 124, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Abstract: It is well-known that nanoparticles (NPs) can be synthesized via water-in-oil (w/o) microemulsions. Thus we used w/o-microemulsions as template for the synthesis of mono- and bimetallic nanoparticles (NPs). For that purpose w/o-microemulsions containing H2PtCl6, H2PtCl6 + Pb(NO3)2 and H2PtCl6 + Bi(NO)3, respectively, were mixed with a w/o-microemulsion containing the reducing agent NaBH4. The results revealed that it is possible to synthesize Pt, PtPb and PtBi nanoparticles of ~3-8 nm in diameter at temperatures of about 30°C. In our previous work we have shown that it is also possible to influence the size and the composition of platinum (Pt), platinum-lead (PtPb) and platinum-bismuth (PtBi) nanoparticles via the proper choice of the templating microemulsion. Based on this work we now present a study of the catalytic properties of the bimetallic PtPb and PtBi nanoparticles and compare them with those of the monometallic Pt nanoparticles.
Since it has been shown that intermetallic platinum-based bulk material is less affected by the absorption of CO than pure platinum we tested the stability of our PtPb and PtBi NPs towards CO poisoning with Cyclic Voltammetry (CV). We found via the electrochemical oxidation of formic acid (HCOOH) that the bimetallic PtPb and PtBi nanoparticles are almost immune against CO poisoning with PtPb NPs having an even larger immunity than PtBi NPs. As expected, the monometallic Pt NPs are greatly affected by the presence of CO, which is a well-known problem in Fuel Cells.
In addition to the CV study a variety of model reactions were performed to obtain further information about the catalytic activity of the three different nanoparticles. First, two non-selective model reactions, namely the reduction of 4-nitrophenol (Nip) and the hydrogenation of α-methyl styrene (AMS) were carried out. The reduction of 4-nitrophenol to 4-aminophenol showed that the bimetallic nanoparticles catalyze the reaction more efficiently than the monometallic platinum nanoparticles. In contrast, the hydrogenation of α-methyl styrene to cumene was catalyzed fastest by the Pt NPs followed by the PtPb NPs and, eventually, by the PtBi NPs. We could also show that the Pt and the PtPb NPs are at least as catalytically active as commercial Pt NPs. Furthermore the selective hydrogenation of 1,5-cyclooctadiene (COD) was performed with the different particles and we observed the same selectivity for the three different nanoparticles.

Title: Nanostructured CuxCe1-xO2-y and ZnxCe1-xO2-y materials as catalysts for the Water Gas Shift Reaction
Kelly Pemartin1,2, Henrik Kusar3, Conxita Solans1, Sergio A. Pérez-García4, Andrea Victoria Vela-Gonzalez4, Margarita Sánchez-Domínguez4, Magali Boutonnet3
1 Instituto de Química Avanzada de Cataluña, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IQAC-CSIC) and CIBER en Biotecnología, Biomateriales y Nanomedicina (CIBER-BBN), Jordi Girona 18-26, 08034 Barcelona, Spain.
OrganoClick AB, Ritarslingan 20, Täby, 187 66, Sweden
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), School of Chemistry, Div. of Chemical Technology, Stockholm, 10044, Sweden
Centro de Investigación en Materiales Avanzados (CIMAV), Unidad Monterrey; GENES-Group of Embedded  Alianza Norte 202, Parque de Investigación e Innovación Tecnológica, 66600 Apodaca, N.L., México
Low temperature water gas shift (WGS) reaction is an important catalytic step for the production of hydrogen for fuel cell applications. Cerium oxides and in particular the Cu-Ceria catalysts have received a lot of attention as catalyst systems for the WGS reaction. In this investigation, WGS reaction was studied over nanostructured CuxCe1-xO2-y and ZnxCe1-xO2-y catalysts with different loadings (x = 0.1 and 0.2); these materials were synthesized by an oil-in-water microemulsion reaction method. The materials were characterized by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM), BET, H2-TPR, RAMAN and XPS. The reaction was carried out in a plug-flow micro-reactor at a temperature range up to 400 °C and atmospheric pressure with a feed composition of 1.8 mol% CO and 1.8 mol% H2O in nitrogen. The catalysts were calcined at both 400 °C and 650 °C. The results show that although both mixed oxides were active, CuxCe1-xO2-y nanomaterial was superior.

Title: Design of cobalt nanoparticles with tailored structural and morphological properties via O/W and W/O microemulsions and their deposition onto silica
Gabriella Di Carlo1, Margarita Sanchez-Dominguez2,3, Matteo Lualdi4, Anna Maria Venezia5, Magali Boutonnet4
1 Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati (ISMN) − CNR, ViaSalaria Km 29300, 00015, Monterotondo Stazione, Roma, Italy. E-Mail: gabriella.dicarlo@ismn.cnr.it
Centro de Investigación en Materiales Avanzados, S. C. (CIMAV), Unidad Monterrey, Alianza Norte 202, 66600 Apodaca, Nuevo León,Mexico
Instituto de Química Avanzada de Cataluña, Consejo Superior deInvestigaciones Científicas (IQAC-CSIC), CIBER en Biotecnología,60 Biomateriales y Nanomedicina (CIBER BBN) , Jordi Girona 18-26,08034 Barcelona, Spain
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Div. of Chemical Technology, Teknikringen 42, 10044, Stockholm, Sweden
Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati (ISMN) – CNR, viaUgo La Malfa 153, 90146, Palermo, Italy
Cobalt nanostructures with different size and shape, i.e., spherical nanoparticles, nanorods and particles arranged into elongated structures, have been prepared using microemulsions as confined reaction media. It is worth noting that, after deposition onto silica, cobalt nanocrystals retain a high dispersion, suggesting a great potential in catalytic applications. Different variations of the microemulsion reaction method were compared in order to investigate the role of the microemulsion type (oil-in-water or water-in-oil), composition and the nature of the precipitation agent on the morphological and structural properties of cobalt nanoparticles.

Confirmed author list:
Arturo Lopez-Quintela, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Cosima Stubenrauch, Universität Stuttgart, Germany
Reinhard Schoemacker, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
Magali Boutonnet Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH), Sweden
Margarita Sanchez-Dominguez CIMAV, S.C., Mexico
Ger Koper Delft University of Technology, The Nerthelands
Toshiaki Hanaoka, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan

Last update: 3 September 2014

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