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Journal of colloid and interface science

Mesoporous zirconium phosphate from yeast biotemplate.


PMID 20031146

Abstract

Mesoporous zirconium phosphate has attracted increasing interest due to its extraordinary functionalities. In particular, great progress has been made in the synthesis of mesoporous zirconium phosphate using traditional approaches. However, synthesis of mesoporous zirconium phosphate using yeast as biotemplate has not been well studied so far. Here, we show that zirconium phosphate with a mesoporous structure has been synthesized under ambient conditions using yeast as biotemplate. The derived samples were examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), thermogravimetry/differential thermal analysis (TG/DTA), fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and N(2) adsorption-desorption isotherms. A biotemplated mesoporous zirconium phosphate, possessing a specific surface area (Brunauer-Emmett-Teller, BET) of 217.64 m(2) g(-1), a narrow pore distribution centered at 2.7 nm, and pore volume of 0.24 cm(3) g(-1), was obtained. We discover that amide carboxyl groups of yeast play an important role in the chemical interaction between protein molecules and zirconium phosphate nanoparticles. Interestingly, an air electrode fabricated using mesoporous zirconium phosphate exhibits remarkable electrocatalytic activity for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), compared to that of the electrolytic manganese dioxide (EMD) air electrode employed commercially, which has important applications in fuel cell technologies.

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