Nickel nanoparticles (NiNPs) were successfully synthesized in situ on a microstructured paper matrix composed of inorganic fibers as the main framework and zinc oxide (ZnO) whiskers as a preferential support for NiNPs. The paper-like inorganic fiber/ZnO whisker composites were prepared using a high-speed and low-cost papermaking technique, and then simply immersed in an aqueous solution of Ni(NO3)2. After reduction in hydrogen flow, NiNPs with a fine size about 20 nm in diameter were selectively formed on the ZnO whiskers in the paper composites. As-prepared NiNPs@ZnO paper is much like an ordinary paper product, being flexible, lightweight, and easy to handle. The NiNPs@ZnO paper composites exhibited excellent catalytic performance in the steam reforming of propane, and produced hydrogen more efficiently than commercial pellet-type nickel catalysts. These results are possibly attributed both to highly active NiNPs synthesized in situ and to the uniform flow of reactants inside a microporous paper structure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes