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ISRN Nanomaterials
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 816474, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/816474
Research Article

Titanium Dioxide Nanofibers and Microparticles Containing Nickel Nanoparticles

1Department of Chemistry, University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, TX 78539, USA
2DTU Food, Technical University of Denmark, Soltofts Plads, Building 227 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
3Department of Bio and Nano System Engineering, College of Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756, Republic of Korea
4Department of Mechanical Design and Materials Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756, Republic of Korea
5National Center for Natural Products Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS 38677, USA
6Department of Environmental Engineering and Biotechnology, Energy & Environment Fusion Technology Center, Myongji University, Kyonggi-do, Yongin 449-728, Republic of Korea

Received 30 September 2012; Accepted 18 October 2012

Academic Editors: J. Bai, G. Dzhardimalieva, T. Peijs, and X. Sun

Copyright © 2012 Faheem A. Sheikh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The present study reports on the introduction of various nanocatalysts containing nickel (Ni) nanoparticles (NPs) embedded within TiO2 nanofibers and TiO2 microparticles. Typically, a sol-gel consisting of titanium isopropoxide and Ni NPs was prepared to produce TiO2 nanofibers by the electrospinning process. Similarly, TiO2 microparticles containing Ni were prepared using a sol-gel syntheses process. The resultant structures were studied by SEM analyses, which confirmed well-obtained nanofibers and microparticles. Further, the XRD results demonstrated the crystalline feature of both TiO2 and Ni in the obtained composites. Internal morphology of prepared nanofibers and microparticles containing Ni NPs was characterized by TEM, which demonstrated characteristic structures with good dispersion of Ni NPs. In addition, the prepared structures were studied as a model for hydrogen production applications. The catalytic activity of the prepared materials was studied by in situ hydrolysis of NaBH4, which indicated that the nanofibers containing Ni NPs can lead to produce higher amounts of hydrogen when compared to other microparticles, also reported in this paper. Overall, these results confirm the potential use of these materials in hydrogen production systems.