Cryogels with Noble Metal Nanoparticles as Catalyst for “Green” Decomposition of Chlorophenols

Dmitriy A. Berillo, Irina N. Savina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pollution of the aquatic environment by halogen derivatives widely used as antiseptic compounds, as well as chemicals for various industrial purposes, is significant. Existing systems of bioremediation poorly solve the problem of eliminating pollution. This paper discusses the preparation of novel macroporous chitosan-based cryogels with in situ-immobilized Pd or Pt nanoparticles as a catalyst for dichlorination reactions. The formation mechanism of metal coordinated chitosan gels using Medusa software modelling and rheology (G’ and G’’) is discussed. Metal coordinated chitosan gels were subsequently converted into covalently cross-linked macroporous cryogels with in situ-immobilized Pd or Pt nanoparticles using the redox potentials difference of the reaction mixture. Noble metal nanoparticles of average size, 2.4 nm, were evenly distributed in the cryogel structure. The effectiveness of these gels as a catalyst for the decomposition of chloro-compounds o-chlorophenol, p-chlorophenol and 2,4-dichlorophenol was tested. The catalytic hydrogenation reaction was carried out using the “green reducing agent” formic acid. Increasing the excess of formic acid with heating increases the degree of conversion up to 80–90%. The CHI-GA-PdNPs cryogel at pH 6 showed better efficiency in the hydrogenation process compared to the CHI-GA-PtNPs cryogel; however, no significant difference in the degree of conversion at pH 3 was observed. The termination of a catalytic reaction in a batch mode have been studied. Several control tests were carried out to elucidate the mechanism of catalyst poisoning. The presented catalytic system may be of interest for studying reactions in a flow through mode, including the reactions for obtaining valuable chemicals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number23
Number of pages21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship grant “Cryobacteriareactor” N 701289 and British Council and Newton—Al-Farabi Partnership Programme: Researcher Links Travel Grant N172701258 for the support of the research. Royal Society International Exchanges 2019 Cost Share scheme grant for the support of time while manuscript writing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • Article
  • PdNPs
  • PtNPs
  • catalysis
  • chitosan
  • chlorophenols
  • metal coordination


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