Catalysis: A golden future


The recent literature concerning the use of supported gold catalysts is reviewed. In particular, two main uses of gold catalysts are considered, namely (a) the hydrochlorination of ethyne using supported chlorides, and (b) the oxidation of carbon monoxide at ambient temperature. For the hydrochlorination of ethyne a correlation of catalytic activity with the metal standard electrode potential predicted that gold would be the most active catalyst for this reaction, and subsequent experimental work confirmed this prediction. Low temperature oxidation of carbon monoxide is a reaction of current environmental interest and gold catalysts are effective at ambient conditions. For both these reactions, gold is found to be the most active catalyst and is therefore the metal of choice.


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Professor Graham Hutchings is Deputy Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Innovative Catalysis at the University of Liverpool. He has experience in both academic and industrial catalysis research and has a current research interest in oxidation chemistry.

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Hutchings, G.J. Catalysis: A golden future. Gold Bull 29, 123–130 (1996).

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  • Metal Chloride
  • Gold Catalyst
  • Gold Bulletin
  • Gold Loading
  • Standard Electrode Potential