Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

pH-responsive gas–water–solid interface for multiphase catalysis

Binks, Bernard P.; Cheng, Fangqin; Huang, Jianping; Yang, Hengquan


Fangqin Cheng

Jianping Huang

Hengquan Yang


© 2015 American Chemical Society. Despite their wide utility in laboratory synthesis and industrial fabrication, gas-water-solid multiphase catalysis reactions often suffer from low reaction efficiency because of the low solubility of gases in water. Using a surface-modification protocol, interface-active silica nanoparticles were synthesized. Such nanoparticles can assemble at the gas-water interface, stabilizing micrometer-sized gas bubbles in water, and disassemble by tuning of the aqueous phase pH. The ability to stabilize gas microbubbles can be finely tuned through variation of the surface-modification protocol. As proof of this concept, Pd and Au were deposited on these silica nanoparticles, leading to interface-active catalysts for aqueous hydrogenation and oxidation, respectively. With such catalysts, conventional gas-water-solid multiphase reactions can be transformed to H 2 or O 2 microbubble reaction systems. The resultant microbubble reaction systems exhibit significant catalysis efficiency enhancement effects compared with conventional multiphase reactions. The significant improvement is attributed to the pronounced increase in reaction interface area that allows for the direct contact of gas, water, and solid phases. At the end of reaction, the microbubbles can be removed from the reaction systems through changing the pH, allowing product separation and catalyst recycling. Interestingly, the alcohol oxidation activation energy for the microbubble systems is much lower than that for the conventional multiphase reaction, also indicating that the developed microbubble system may be a valuable platform to design innovative multiphase catalysis reactions.


Binks, B. P., Cheng, F., Huang, J., & Yang, H. (2015). pH-responsive gas–water–solid interface for multiphase catalysis. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 137(47), 15015-15025.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 2, 2015
Online Publication Date Nov 19, 2015
Publication Date Nov 2, 2015
Deposit Date Dec 1, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Journal of the American Chemical Society
Print ISSN 0002-7863
Electronic ISSN 1520-5126
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 137
Issue 47
Pages 15015-15025
Keywords Gas–water–solid multiphase catalysis reactions , Microbubbles
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in [JournalTitle], copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see


Supporting Information.pdf (1.2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
©2016 University of Hull

You might also like

Downloadable Citations