A new approach for the preparation of metal supported montmorillonite catalyst is reported here for the first time. The polyol process in which ethylene glycol is used as reducing agent was employed for the preparation of uniformly distributed copper metal particles on and within the montmorillonite matrix. A hydroxy copper acetate intercalated form of montmorillonite was refluxed at 195 °C with liquid ethylene glycol for 6 h. The reduction of copper acetate to copper metal was apparent from the red color of the reduced product. An X-ray powder diffraction pattern showed the deposition of copper metal on the external surface of montmorillonite and scanning electron micrographs exhibited uniformly distributed spherical copper metal particles of about 0.5 μm size. This process may also be extended for the preparation of other fine metal particles supported on montmorillonite catalysts.
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