Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 27, Issue 12, pp 2943–2955 | Cite as

Characterization of Cellulose/Silver Nanocomposites Prepared by Vegetable Oil-Based Microemulsion Method and Their Catalytic Performance to 4-Nitrophenol Reduction

  • Yuming Zhang
  • Li Chen
  • Lihua Hu
  • Zongcheng YanEmail author
Original paper


In this work, Cellulose/silver nanocomposites were synthesized through a double vegetable oil-based microemulsion method. Ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([Emim]Ac) or water was used as the polar phase to prepare [Emim]Ac (water) /Triton X-100 + n-butanol/castor oil microemulsions, respectively. The structure of the microemulsions was investigated by the pseudo-ternary phase diagrams and dynamic light scanning data. The microstructure, morphological characteristics, size, thermal stability, and catalytic performance of the as-prepared cellulose/silver nanocomposites were characterized through X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and UV–Visible spectrophotometry. Results revealed that the spherical silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) dispersed homogeneously on the surface of cellulose regenerated from ionic liquid, and the average size of Ag NPs in the nanocomposites could be adjusted by controlling the AgNO3 concentration and the molar ratio of total polar phase to surfactant. The catalytic activity of cellulose/silver nanocomposites were examined by reducing 4-Nitrophenol to 4-Aminophenol and they displayed much higher activities than the unsupported Ag NPs. This approach is effective for the production of cellulose-supported metal nanoparticles, which offers promise in heterogeneous catalysis.

Graphic Abstract


Cellulose Silver nanoparticles Ionic liquid Vegetable oil microemulsion Catalyst 



This research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21676095) and the Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou, China (201804020014). The authors would also gratefully acknowledge the support from the Guangdong Provincial Laboratory of Green Chemical Technology.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10924_2019_1583_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.7 mb)
Supplementary file1 (DOCX 1781 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuming Zhang
    • 1
  • Li Chen
    • 1
  • Lihua Hu
    • 1
  • Zongcheng Yan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina

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