Innovative synthesis of nanostructured composite materials by a spray-freeze drying process: Efficient catalysts and photocatalysts preparation

Innovative synthesis of nanostructured composite materials by a spray-freeze drying process: Efficient catalysts and photocatalysts preparation

Alice Lolli, Magda Blosi, Simona Ortelli, Anna Luisa Costa, Ilaria Zanoni, Danilo Bonincontro, Francesca Carella, Stefania Albonetti

Abstract

The spray-freeze-drying (SFD) approach was successfully applied for the preparation of nanostructured porous mixed oxides with high surface area. The preparation of different composite materials and the encapsulation of metal nanoparticles in inorganic matrix was easily obtained using this interesting technique. In particular, TiO2-SiO2 mixed-oxides were produced at different compositions using the colloidal heterocoagulation of very stable sols, associated with SFD. Moreover, its versatility allowed the incorporation of metal. This synthetic approach led to the preparation of porous micro-granules characterised by a high homogeneity in the phase distribution. The prepared materials were active and selective in the reduction of 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural (HMF) to 2,5-bishydroxymethylfuran (BHMF) and in the photodegradation of rhodamine B (RhB), used as a as a stain model. These encouraging results pave the way for the use of this method for the homogeneous embedding of different typologies of catalytic active phases (metal nanoparticles, inorganic complexes, enzyme) into any kind of support (inorganic, organic, polymeric) minimizing the possibility of phase separation on a molecular scale, as also demonstrated for drugs.

Keywords

Spray-freeze-drying, Hetero-coagulation, Colloid, TiO2, SiO2

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