Commercial sponges in heterogeneous catalysis: developing novel composites with cobalt and silver
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Institute of Technology and Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Chemical Technology, Poznan University of Technology
Institute of Material Engineering, Faculty of Material Engineering and Technical Physics, Poznan University of Technology
Poznan University of Technology
Publication date: 2020-09-01
Corresponding author
Teofil Jesionowski   

Poznan University of Technology
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2020;56(6):89-100
The use of commercial sponges in materials science has gained much recent attention. Their unique properties, namely a fibrous, rigid skeleton, thermal stability and resistance to acid and basic hydrolysis, have been the primary motivation to use them in the development of new composites. In this work, a simple method of immobilization of cobalt and silver cations, followed by their reduction using sodium borohydride, was successfully applied for the first time to obtain functionalized spongin scaffolds. Three different materials, labeled Co_spongin, Ag_spongin and Co-Ag_spongin, were prepared. Their morphological and physicochemical properties were explored using various techniques (SEM+EDS, TG/DTA, FTIR). The focal point of the research was the application of the resulting materials in the reaction of 4-nitrophenol reduction with sodium borohydride in water. It was found that all of the composites possess superior activity in the reduction of 4-nitrophenol, achieving high rate constants of 0.31 min-1 for Ag_spongin, 0.52 min-1 for Co_spongin and 0.86 min-1 for Co Ag_spongin. Reusability tests showed that all of the composites could be reused five times. Additional structural analysis after catalytic application showed no visible changes in the morphology of the catalysts. The results indicate that spongin can be considered as a facile, cost-effective, renewable and environmentally friendly three-dimensional support for use in heterogeneous catalysis.
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