, Volume 21, Issue 1-3, pp 25-34

Oxidation Catalysis by Supported Gold Nano-Clusters

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The historical notion regarding the inability of gold to catalyze reactions has been discarded in view of recent studies, which have clearly demonstrated the high catalytic efficiency of supported nano-gold catalysts. Although nano-Au catalysts are known to catalyze a variety of reactions, the major focus has been on CO oxidation catalysis. In this work we focus on the important aspects related to the CO oxidation reaction. Special emphasis is placed on the studies undertaken on model nano-Au systems as these studies have considerably enhanced the understanding of the oxidation process. Gold in a highly dispersed state can selectively oxidize CO in the presence of excess hydrogen (of tremendous interest to state-of-the-art low-temperature fuel cells); related studies are addressed in this review. The nano-gold catalysts have also been investigated for the direct vapor-phase oxidation of propylene to propylene oxide in the presence of molecular oxygen; these investigations are highlighted in this work.