Nanotech 2010

Ni nanoparticles: synthesis and catalytic performance

A.L. Costa
Istec-CNR, IT

Keywords: nickel, microwave, synthesis, polyol, catalysis


The synthesis of nickel nanoparticles and their applications are worthy of investigation for their important electric, magnetic and catalytic properties. Here we compare the results of two different synthesis and discuss the effect of synthesis parameters on the crystal structure of products and their catalytic performance in the hydrogenation of p-nitrophenol (4-NP) to p-aminophenol (4-AP). Synthesis A was a polyol microwave assisted-procedure, based on the reduction of Ni(ac)2 in diethylenglycol (DEG), used also as reducing agent. Synthesis B was performed at room temperature (RT) in ethanol, by the reduction of Ni (ac)2 with NaBH4. From synthesis A, pure metallic nickel with a crystallite size of about 12 nm (calculated by Debye-Sherrer equation), was achieved in 20 minutes, while an intermediate crystalline phase, Ni-glycolate, was detected during the reaction. Samples prepared by procedure B evidenced an amorphous structure, corresponding to Ni:B complex, that crystallized after an annealing treatment at 600°C. All the prepared nanopowders exhibited very good catalytic performance, allowing the total conversion of 4-NP at RT in few minutes. These results represent an important goal with respect to literature data, where the same reaction catalyzed by nickel nanoparticles occurs either at high temperature and pressure or in a longer time.
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