Selective Extraction and in Situ Reduction of Precious Metal Salts from Model Waste to Generate Hybrid Gels with Embedded Electrocatalytic Nanoparticles

Babatunde O. Okesola, Sindhu K. Suravaram, Alison Parkin, David K. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A hydrogel based on 1,3:2,4-dibenzylidenesorbitol (DBS), modified with acyl hydrazides which extracts gold/silver salts from model waste is reported, with preferential uptake of precious heavy metals over other common metals. Reduction of gold/silver salts occurs spontaneously in the gel to yield metal nanoparticles located on the gel nanofibers. High nanoparticle loadings can be achieved, endowing the gel with electrochemical activity. These hybrid gels exhibit higher conductances than gels doped with carbon nanotubes, and can be used to modify electrode surfaces, enhancing electrocatalysis. We reason this simple, industrially and environmentally relevant approach to conducting materials is of considerable significance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-187
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition
Issue number1
Early online date9 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2015 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.


  • electrochemistry
  • hydrogels
  • nanoparticles
  • self-assembly

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