Noble metal/functionalized cellulose nanofiber composites for catalytic applications

Mayakrishnan Gopiraman, Hyunsik Bang, Guohao Yuan, Chuan Yin, Kyung Hun Song, Jung Soon Lee, Ill Min Chung, Ramasamy Karvembu, Ick Soo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract In this study, cellulose acetate nanofibers (CANFs) with a mean diameter of 325 ± 2.0 nm were electrospun followed by deacetylation and functionalization to produce anionic cellulose nanofibers (f-CNFs). The noble metal nanoparticles (RuNPs and AgNPs) were successfully decorated on the f-CNFs by a simple wet reduction method using NaBH4 as a reducing agent. TEM and SEM images of the nanocomposites (RuNPs/CNFs and AgNPs/CNFs) confirmed that the very fine RuNPs or AgNPs were homogeneously dispersed on the surface of f-CNFs. The weight percentage of the Ru and Ag in the nanocomposites was found to be 13.29 wt% and 22.60 wt% respectively; as confirmed by SEM-EDS analysis. The metallic state of the Ru and Ag in the nanocomposites was confirmed by XPS and XRD analyses. The usefulness of these nanocomposites was realized from their superior catalytic activity. In the aerobic oxidation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde, the RuNPs/CNFs system gave a better yield of 89% with 100% selectivity. Similarly, the AgNPs/CNFs produced an excellent yield of 99% (100% selectivity) in the aza-Michael reaction of 1-phenylpiperazine with acrylonitrile. Mechanism has been proposed for the catalytic systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10042
Pages (from-to)554-564
Number of pages11
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 18
Externally publishedYes


  • Cellulose nanocomposites
  • Electrospinning
  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Noble metals
  • Reusability
  • Surface modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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