Biosupported bimetallic Pd-Au nanocatalysts for dechlorination of environmental contaminants

Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Oct 1;45(19):8506-13. doi: 10.1021/es2019324. Epub 2011 Sep 12.


Biologically produced monometallic palladium nanoparticles (bio-Pd) have been shown to catalyze the dehalogenation of environmental contaminants, but fail to efficiently catalyze the degradation of other important recalcitrant halogenated compounds. This study represents the first report of biologically produced bimetallic Pd/Au nanoparticle catalysts. The obtained catalysts were tested for the dechlorination of diclofenac and trichlorethylene. When aqueous bivalent Pd(II) and trivalent Au(III) ions were both added to concentrations of 50 mg L(-1) and reduced simultaneously by Shewanella oneidensis in the presence of H(2), the resulting cell-associated bimetallic nanoparticles (bio-Pd/Au) were able to dehalogenate 78% of the initially added diclofenac after 24 h; in comparison, no dehalogenation was observed using monometallic bio-Pd or bio-Au. Other catalyst-synthesis strategies did not show improved dehalogenation of TCE and diclofenac compared with bio-Pd. Synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction, (scanning) transmission electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy indicated that the simultaneous reduction of Pd and Au supported on cells of S. oneidensis resulted in the formation of a unique bimetallic crystalline structure. This study demonstrates that the catalytic activity and functionality of possibly environmentally more benign biosupported Pd-catalysts can be improved by coprecipitation with Au.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Catalysis
  • Chemical Precipitation
  • Diclofenac / isolation & purification
  • Environmental Pollutants / isolation & purification*
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Halogenation*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Metals / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / ultrastructure
  • Palladium / chemistry*
  • Shewanella / metabolism*
  • Shewanella / ultrastructure
  • Time Factors
  • Trichloroethylene / isolation & purification
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Metals
  • Diclofenac
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Palladium
  • Gold