Herein we report the covalent grafting of chitosan on graphene oxide (GO) followed by a simple approach for anchoring silver (AgNPs) and gold (AuNPs) nanoparticles onto a chitosan grafted graphene oxide surface by a NaBH4 reduction method. Catalytic activity of prepared heterogeneous GO grafted chitosan stabilized silver and gold nanocatalysts (GO-Chit-Ag/AuNPs) was explored for the reduction of aromatic nitroarenes and degradation of hazardous azo dyes in the presence of NaBH4. Both catalysts were found to exhibit excellent catalytic activity towards the reduction of aromatic nitroarenes and azo dyes degradation. Furthermore, the nanocatalysts were found to be selective towards the reduction of nitro groups in halonitroarenes without any dehalogenation under mild conditions.
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