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Nanoparticles of Prussian blue turned out to be better than horseradish

Scientists at the Faculty of Chemistry of Moscow State University have proposed a new catalyst for the reduction of hydrogen peroxide. It consists of nanoparticles of Prussian blue (it's a blue pigment, a mixture of hexacyanoferrates (II), also known as Berlin blue) and it accelerates the reduction reaction by 1000 times better than horseradish peroxidase, a well known 'natural' catalyst used in this process. The results of their work are published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
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There is a natural catalyst for the reduction of peroxides — the enzyme peroxidase, which is obtained from the roots of horseradish. Chemists from Moscow State University have managed to reproduce and improve the properties of peroxidase by constructing their own 'nanoenzyme' out of the particles of Prussian blue — a blue dye, known since the XVIIIth century. The compound is a mixture of complex iron cyanides of averaged formula Fe7(CN)18.

In the future such catalysts could be used to determine peroxide in vapours. For example, the authors recently proposed an electrochemical sensor with a paper vapour trap: nanoparticles are deposited on a flat electrode, and presence of peroxide can be assessed by the flow of current.

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