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Ligand-Free Nano-Au Catalysts on Nitrogen-Doped Graphene Filter for Continuous Flow Catalysis

Textile Pollution Controlling Engineering Center of Ministry of Environmental Protection, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China
Shanghai Institute of Pollution Control and Ecological Security, Shanghai 200092, China
Institute of Biosciences, Freiberg University of Mining and Technology, 09599 Freiberg, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 688;
Received: 11 August 2018 / Revised: 2 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Nanotechnologies for Water Remediation Processes)
PDF [2373 KB, uploaded 5 September 2018]


In this study, the authors rationally designed a high-performance catalytic filter for continuous flow catalysis. The catalytic filter consisted of ligand-free nanoscale gold (nano-Au) catalysts and nitrogen-doped graphene (N-rGO). The Au catalyst was fabricated in situ onto a pre-formed N-rGO support by the NaBH4 reduction of the Au precursor, and the size of the nano-Au was fine-tuned. A hydrothermal pretreatment of graphene oxide enriched nitrogen-containing species on the surface of two-dimensional graphene supports and enhanced the affinity of Au precursors onto the support via electrocatalytic attraction. The nano-Au catalysts acted as high-performance catalysts, and the N-rGO acted as ideal filter materials to anchor the catalysts. The catalytic activity of the as-designed catalytic filter was evaluated using 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) hydrogenation as a model catalytic reaction. The catalytic filters demonstrated superior catalytic activity and excellent stability, where a complete 4-nitrophenol conversion was readily achieved via a single pass through the catalytic filter. The as-fabricated catalytic filter outperformed the conventional batch reactors due to evidently improved mass transport. Some key operational parameters impacting the catalytic performance were identified and optimized. A similar catalytic performance was also observed for three 4-nitrophenol spiked real water samples (e.g., surface water, tap water, and industrial dyeing wastewater). The excellent catalytic activity of the nano-Au catalysts combined with the two-dimensional and mechanically stable graphene allowed for the rational design of various continuous flow catalytic membranes for potential industrial applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: catalytic filter; nitrogen-doped graphene; surfactant-free; Au nanoparticles; continuous flow catalysis catalytic filter; nitrogen-doped graphene; surfactant-free; Au nanoparticles; continuous flow catalysis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, Y.; Liu, X.; Yang, S.; Li, F.; Shen, C.; Ma, C.; Huang, M.; Sand, W. Ligand-Free Nano-Au Catalysts on Nitrogen-Doped Graphene Filter for Continuous Flow Catalysis. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 688.

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