Special Issue "Synthesis of Nanostructured Catalytic Materials from Microemulsions"


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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 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
E-Mail: magali@ket.kth.se
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
E-Mail: margarita.sanchez@cimav.edu.mx
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


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

Published Papers

No papers have been published in this special issue yet, see below for planned papers.

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.

Confirmed author list:

Arturo Lopez-Quintela, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Cosima Stubenrauch, Universität Stuttgart, Germany
Reinhard Schoemacker, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

Last update: 9 December 2013

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