Researchers discover gold-curcumin nanocomposite is environment friendly catalyst for electrooxidation of ethanol and methanol


Researchers on the Clemson Nanomaterials Institute (CNI) and their collaborators from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Greater Studying (SSSIHL) in India found a novel technique to mix curcumin—the substance in turmeric—and gold nanoparticles to create an electrode that requires 100 occasions much less power to transform ethanol or methanol into electrical energy effectively.

Whereas the analysis group should do extra testing, the invention brings changing hydrogen as a gas cell feedstock one step nearer. A paper on their work is printed within the journal Nano Power.


Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) possess tunable size- and shape-dependent properties that are perfect for catalytic properties for a lot of purposes. Nevertheless, the problem lies within the synthesis of extremely steady and ultra-small NPs. We report an energy-efficient galvanostatic path to engineer gold-curcumin (Au-CM) nanocomposites constituting small-sized (~2 nm) AuNPs enveloped by a porous community of curcumin.

… The Au-CM/GCE nanocomposite exhibited wonderful stability (~200 cycles), facile electron switch capacity, catalytic exercise, and low Arrhenius power of 42 and 45 kJ mol−1, respectively, in the direction of electrooxidation of EtOH and MeOH in alkaline medium. The oxidation kinetics are akin to these of the very best gold-polymer composites. This research factors the best way for one-pot inexperienced synthesis of different engineered electrocatalysts for various purposes.

—Nayak et al.

The researchers centered on gas cell anodes, the place the ethanol or different feed supply is oxidized. Gas cells extensively use platinum as a catalyst. However platinum suffers from poisoning due to response intermediates reminiscent of carbon monoxide; it is usually pricey.

The researchers used gold as a catalyst. As an alternative of utilizing conducting polymers, metal-organic frameworks, or different advanced supplies to deposit the gold on the floor of the electrode, the researchers used curcumin due to its structural uniqueness. Curcumin is used to embellish the gold nanoparticles to stabilize them, forming a porous community across the nanoparticles.

With out the curcumin coating, the gold nanoparticles agglomerate, reducing down on the floor space uncovered to the chemical response, mentioned co-author Lakshman Ventrapragada.

With out this curcumin coating, the efficiency is poor.We’d like this coating to stabilize and create a porous surroundings across the nanoparticles, after which they do a brilliant job with alcohol oxidation. There’s an enormous push within the trade for alcohol oxidation. This discovery is a superb enabler for that. The following step is to scale the method up and work with an industrial collaborator who can really make the gas cells and construct stacks of gas cells for the true software

—Apparao Rao, CNI’s founding director and co-corresponding creator

The analysis may have broader implications than improved gas cells. The electrode’s distinctive properties may lend itself to future purposes in sensors, supercapacitors and extra, Ventrapragada mentioned.


  • Sai Prasad Nayak, Lakshman Ok. Ventrapragada, Sai Sathish Ramamurthy, J.Ok. Kiran Kumar, Apparao M. Rao (2022) “Inexperienced synthesis of a novel porous gold-curcumin nanocomposite for super-efficient alcohol oxidation,” Nano Power doi: 10.1016/j.nanoen.2022.106966


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