Iranian researchers used cacao seed extract to produce catalytic nanoparticles which can be applied in production of organic materials and compounds as non-homogenous, stable and recyclable catalysts.
Although there are wide and various range of reactants for organic reactions, new reactants and novel methods have always attracted the attention of chemists. In addition, researchers always seek methods with less chemical pollution but higher environmental compatibility due to the direct effect of chemicals on the environment.
In this research, copper oxide/palladium nanoparticles (Pd/CuO) were produced by using the extract of a type of cacao (Theobroma cacao L) through a simple and cheap method, which can be used as non-homogenous catalysts. Nanoparticles produced in this research have specific applications in chemical reactions to synthesize organic materials and bioactive compounds as non-homogenous catalysts. Recycling and re-using the catalysts are an important step towards the conservation of the environment and prevention of pollution. One of the problems in the application of homogenous catalysts in organic reactions is that they cannot be recycled.
Experiments prove that more than 98% of the catalyst is recycled each time and it can be reused six times without any decrease in efficiency. In addition, the catalyst is separated from the reaction mixture after the reaction through sieving method, and it can be washed with water and ethanol and dried.
Results of the research have been published in Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, vol. 448, issue 1, 2015, pp. 106-113.