Authors

Abstract

A robust and reusable Copper Nanoparticles Immobilised Catalytic Reactor (Cu-NICaR) system was fabricated by immobilising Copper Nanoparticles (Cu NPs) onto a radiation functionalized polymer support. Gamma radiation induced simultaneous irradiation grafting process was employed for introducing poly-glycidyl methacrylate (poly(GMA)) chains onto non woven PE-PP matrix. Optimization of the grafting process was carried out by studying the effect of experimental parameters, such as absorbed dose, monomer concentration and solvent polarity on grafting yield. The poly(GMA)-g-PE-PP matrix was used as a functional polymer support for Cu NPs, synthesised under optimized conditions using NaBH4 as reducing agent. Characterization of the samples was carried out by UV-Visible spectrophotometer, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Catalytic activity of Cu NPs immobilised poly(GMA)-g-PE-PP catalytic system was studied  by spectrophotometrically monitoring the catalytic reduction of p-nitrophenol (PNP), using NaBH4 as reducing agent. The Cu NPs-immobilised-poly(GMA)-g-PE-PP was observed to exhibit excellent catalytic activity both in batch process (12 cycles over a period of 30 days) as well as in fixed bed column reactor mode, without significant loss of activity. 

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