, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 231-240

An overview of gold-catalysed oxidation processes

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Gold and gold/platinum group metals (Au/PGM) catalysts are active under mild conditions or even at ambient temperature or less and this makes them unique. They will therefore be effective in reducing running costs of chemical plants and increasing the selectivity of the reactions involved where applicable. In pollution control applications such as air cleaning, low light-off autocatalysts, and purification of hydrogen streams used for fuel cells they have the characteristics to become the catalysts of choice, especially now that their durability and resistance to poisons is being shown to be better than was anticipated. The mechanisms of these gold catalysed reactions are still uncertain but both oxidised and metallic gold are probably involved, and the details depend on types of reaction and the conditions used.