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Palladium nanoparticles by electrospinning from poly(acrylonitrile-co-acrylic acid)-PdCl2 solutions. Relations between preparation conditions, particle size, and catalytic activity
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Catalytic palladium (Pd) nanoparticles on electrospun copolymers of acrylonitrile and acrylic acid (PAN-AA) mats were produced via reduction of PdCl2 with hydrazine. Fiber mats were electrospun from homogeneous solutions of PAN-AA and PdCl2 in dimethylformamide (DMF). Pd cations were reduced to Pd metals when fiber mats were treated in an aqueous hydrazine solution at room temperature. Pd atoms nucleate and form small crystallites whose sizes were estimated from the peak broadening of X-ray diffraction peaks. Two to four crystallites adhere together and form agglomerates. Agglomerate sizes and fiber diameters were determined by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Spherical Pd nanoparticles were dispersed homogeneously on the electrospun nanofibers, The effects of copolymer composition and amount of PdCl2 on particle size were investigated. Pd particle size mainly depends on the amount of acrylic acid functional groups and PdCl2 concentration in the spinning solution. Increasing acrylic acid concentration on polymer chains leads to larger Pd nanoparticles. In addition, Pd particle size becomes larger with increasing PdCl2 concentration in the spinning solution. Hence, it is possible to tune the number density and the size of metal nanoparticles. The catalytic activity of the Pd nanoparticles in electrospun mats was determined by selective hydrogenation of dehydrolinalool (3,7-dimethyloct-6-ene-l-yne-3-ol, DHL) in toluene at 90°C. Electrospun fibers with Pd particles have 4.5 times higher catalytic activity than the current PoVAl2O3 catalyst.