The development of polymers as efficient starting materials for the production of various valuable catalysts is attracting the attention of both industrial and academic researchers. Among all polymers, natural polysaccharides such as cellulose, starch, alginate, gum, pectin, chitin and chitosan have unique structural characteristics, abundant availability, non-toxicity, easy modification, biocompatibility, Hence the attention.
Biopolymer-derived (nano)catalysts have been investigated as heterogeneous and novel catalysts with outstanding catalytic capabilities for chemical transformations. Alfa Chemistry Catalysts provides customized services for the production of nanocatalysts using polysaccharides as green resources.
Nanomaterial-decorated polysaccharide entities serve as novel and more efficient nanocatalysts for the elimination of a range of aqueous pollutants and pollutants, including ionic metals and organic/inorganic pollutants in wastewater. For example, by designing core/shell structures, the surface functionalities of natural polymers can be easily exploited for metal/metal oxide NPs. Antony, et al. developed a facile and novel method to anchor bimetallic AgNi NPs (20-25 nm) on Fe3O4@chitosan core/shell support (Fe3O4@CS_AgNi) as heterogeneously recyclable nanocatalysts to reduce p-nitrophenol to p-aminophenol.
Figure 1. Chitosan-based nanocatalysts catalyze the reduction of p-nitrophenol. 
Alginates have attracted the attention of researchers due to their economical, environmentally friendly, high specific surface area, network structure, and abundant surface groups, which can form stable hydrogel beads and can be used as catalytic supports. For example, Hammouda and colleagues used alginate beads to make catalysts, ie. Calcium alginate (ABs), CaFe-alginate (Fe-ABs), and copper alginate (Cu-ABs) were subjected to a simple gelation process at 25 °C. Among them, Fe-ABs proved to be the best heterogeneous Fenton catalyst for H2O2 indole oxide. Isatin, oxindole, dioxindole and anthracenic acid are also produced as intermediates. Furthermore, aliphatic carboxylic acids are formed as final products. The catalysts used can be used for a variety of reactions without significantly reducing the catalytic activity.
Figure 2. Digital photographs of alginate beads prepared in different physical states: (a) green beads without iron, (b) green beads with iron, and (c) dry beads with iron.