Air pollution by volatile organic compounds is a major health issue due to increasing industrialization and urbanization, notably in the developing countries. Cleaning organic pollutants by catalytic combustion is a potential solution, but actual methods require relatively high temperatures, thus increasing remediation costs. There is therefore a need for methods that operate at mild temperatures. Here we prepared a novel catalyst made of Pd nanoparticles entrapped in TiO2 nanotubes by vacuum-assisted impregnation. Then, we tested this catalyst for butane combustion. The catalyst was characterized by N2 adsorption–desorption isotherms, transmission electronic microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis coupled with a scanning transmission electron microscope, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and temperature programmed oxidation. Results show a complete combustion of butane at 130 °C, which is about 20 °C lower than temperatures required by actual catalysts made of Pd nanoparticles deposited on the exterior surface of TiO2 nanotubes. Structure characterization suggests that this higher performance at lower temperature is explained by the confinement of TiO2 nanotubes. Such a confinement could hinder the metal sintering and, in turn, facilitate the formation of PdO during oxidation on the entrapped Pd nanoparticles.
Environmental Chemistry Letters – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 11, 2017
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