In 2005, Ken Suslick’s team, University of Illinois, USA, used a humidifier to make a fine carbon-rich mist, which was sprayed into an extremely hot furnace to form porous carbon microspheres. Now, he and colleagues have built on this by adding a salt and ironic oxide to load the microspheres with nanoparticles.
The microspheres could be used to catalytically remove contaminants, such as arsenic or carbon monoxide from gas or liquid. The technique is not only inexpensive, but could also use nothing more complex than sugar as the carbon source. Modifying the ingredients would allow other inorganic materials to be loaded into the spheres.
- Synthesis and characterization of iron-impregnated porous carbon spheres prepared by ultrasonic spray pyrolysis
J. D. Atkinson, M. E. Fortunato, S. A. Dastgheib, M. Rostam-Abadi, M. J. Rood, K. S. Suslick,
Carbon, 2011, 49(2), 587-598.