Pickering-Emulsion Inversion Strategy for Separating and Recycling Nanoparticle Catalysts



With the recent advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology, more and more nanoparticle catalysts featuring high accessibility of active sites and high surface area have been explored for their use in various chemical transformations, and their rise in popularity among the catalysis community has been unprecedented. The industrial applications of these newly discovered catalysts, however, are hampered because the existing methods for separation and recycling, such as filtration and centrifugation, are generally unsuccessful. These limitations have prompted development of new methods that facilitate separation and recycling of nanoparticle catalysts, so as to meet the burgeoning demands of green and sustainable chemistry. Recently, we have found that Pickering-emulsion inversion is an appealing strategy with which to realize in situ separation and recycling of nanoparticle catalysts and thereby to establish sustainable catalytic processes. We feel that at such an early stage, this strategy, as an alternative to conventional methods, is conceptually new for readers but that it has potential to become a popular method for green catalysis. This Concept article aims to provide a timely link between previous efforts and both current and future research on nanoparticle catalysts, and is expected to facilitate further investigation into this strategy.