One-step fabrication of recycled Ag nanoparticles/graphene aerogel with high mechanical property for disinfection and catalytic reduction of 4-nitrophonel

<p>Fabrication of smart composites with expected removal property and excellent recycle performance for micro-pollutants including microbes and organic contaminants without formation of second-pollutants is highly desired. In this work, Ag nanoparticles (Ag NPs) homogenously loaded on graphene aerogel (GA) as Ag NPs/GA was facilely fabricated by a one-step process and the composite was characterized in detail. The bactericidal performance of the composite towards <i>escherichia coli (E. coli)</i> was evaluated and the catalytic activity was probed for the reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP). Results showed that the composite contains about 44.4 wt% of well-dispersed Ag NPs with diameters ranging from 10 to 100 nm. Compared with the bare Ag particles or GA, Ag NPs/GA exhibited an enhanced bactericidal performance for 8-lg of <i>E. coli</i> cells with 100% inactivation rate and catalytic activity for 4-NP with 96.6% degradation rate, respectively. Impressively, the 100% inactivation rates for 8-lg of <i>E. coli</i> remained after 7 recycles and the releasing silver was negligible compared with the loaded Ag NPs. Moreover, the used Ag NPs/GA for the catalytic reduction of 4-NP can be regenerated easily by calcination in inert atmosphere. Hence, Ag NPs/GA can be regarded as a promising and cost-efficient composite for environmental remediation.</p>