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Conversion of Chicken Feather Waste to N‑Doped Carbon Nanotubes for the Catalytic Reduction of 4‑Nitrophenol

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journal contribution
posted on 02.09.2014, 00:00 by Lei Gao, Ran Li, Xuelin Sui, Ren Li, Changle Chen, Qianwang Chen
Poultry feather is renewable, inexpensive and abundantly available. It holds great business potentials if poultry feather can be converted into valuable functional materials. Herein, we describe a strategy for the catalytic conversion of chicken feather waste to Ni3S2-carbon coaxial nanofibers (Ni3S2@C) which can be further converted to nitrogen doped carbon nanotubes (N-CNTs). Both Ni3S2@C and N-CNTs exhibit high catalytic activity and good reusability in the reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) to 4-aminophenol (4-AP) by NaBH4 with a first-order rate constant (k) of 0.9 × 10–3 s–1 and 2.1 × 10–3 s–1, respectively. The catalytic activity of N-CNTs is better than that of N-doped graphene and comparable to commonly used noble metal catalysts. The N content in N-CNTs reaches as high as 6.43%, which is responsible for the excellent catalytic performance. This strategy provides an efficient and low-cost method for the comprehensive utilization of chicken feathers. Moreover, this study provides a new direction for the application of N-CNTs.