Two xerogels made of 4-pyridyl cholesterol (PC) and silver-nanocomposites (SNCs) thereof have been studied for their efficient reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) to 4-aminophenol (4-AP) in the presence of aqueous sodium borohydride. Since in-situ
silver doping will be effective in ethanol and acetone solvents with a PC gelator, two silver-loaded PC xerogels were prepared and successive SNCs were achieved by using an environmentally benign trisodium citrate dehydrate reducing agent. The formed PC xerogels and their SNCs were comprehensively investigated using different physico-chemical techniques, such as field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), powdered X-ray diffraction (XRD) and UV-Visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis). The FE-SEM results confirm that the shape of xerogel-covered silver nanoparticles (SNPs) are roughly spherical, with an average size in the range of 30–80 nm. Thermal degradation studies were analyzed via the sensitive graphical Broido’s method using a TGA technique. Both SNC-PC (SNC-PC-X1 and SNC-PC-X2) xerogels showed remarkable catalytic performances, with recyclable conversion efficiency of around 82% after the fourth consecutive run. The apparent rate constant (kapp
) of SNC-PC-X1 and SNC-PC-X2 were found to be 6.120 × 10-3
and 3.758 × 10-3
, respectively, at an ambient temperature.
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