Green Catalysis with Alternative Feedstocks
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- Dimitratos, N., Lopez-Sanchez, J.A. & Hutchings, G.J. Top Catal (2009) 52: 258. doi:10.1007/s11244-008-9162-4
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The use of renewable feedstocks, derived from biomass, for the chemical industry is discussed. The modern chemical industry is based around platform chemicals, e.g. ethene, propene, benzene and xylenes, which are readily derived from oil, and using these intermediates a broad range of finished products can be derived. While it is feasible that biomass can be converted to syngas and hence to existing key platform chemicals, this loses all of the chemical complexity that is inherent in bio-derived molecules. In this paper some of the options are considered and, in particular, the oxidation of glucose and glycerol using gold nanoparticles supported on carbon is described. We also contrast the oxidation of glycerol using supported gold and gold–palladium alloys prepared using an impregnation technique, since the gold–palladium alloys have been shown to be highly effective for the oxidation of alcohols and the synthesis of hydrogen peroxide.