Cationic microparticles were synthesized from (3-Acrylamidopropyl)-trimethylammonium chloride (p[APTMACl]) via an inverse suspension polymerization technique. These polymeric microparticles were treated with chloride salt of metals such as CoCl2, NiCl2, CuCl2, FeCl2, and FeCl3 in ethanol. This manuscript reports the ionic liquid (IL) microparticle as templates for in situ metal nanoparticle preparation, and their use as an environmentally benign catalyst system for energy applications. The p(APTMACl) microgels laden with these metal compounds were reduced to their corresponding metallic form with sodium borohydride. Interestingly, Co nanoparticles demonstrated intrinsic magnetic behavior and superior catalytic performance in hydrogen generation from hydrolysis of sodium borohydride (NaBH4) and ammonia borane (NH3BH3). Magnetic properties, zeta potential, particle sizes, and capacity for metal absorption of the p(APTMACl) microparticles were characterized. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.