Realising Gold’s Potential As a Catalyst

Gold has always been recognised as a precious metal and treasured as so.  This particular yellow metal, above all stones and minerals became the standard of value, the medium of exchange and has been a currency that huge empires have been built upon.  In converse, until recently in science it has had little or no value.

This was until it was discovered that Gold Nano Particles carried on oxide supports demonstrated some very unique and promising properties.  Scientists have used these tiny particles of gold and found as in many other Nano structures the materials behaved in very different ways than they do in solid or bulk state. 

First let’s explore what catalysis means.  Catalysis is the process in which the rate of a chemical reaction is either increased or decreased by means of a chemical substance known as a catalyst. Unlike other reagents that participate in the chemical reaction, a catalyst is not consumed by the reaction itself. The catalyst may participate in multiple chemical transformations within any given reaction but remains relatively unchanged.

Nano gold can act as a catalyst and has demonstrated many different attributes in this field.  One of the most researched is the conversion of Carbon Monoxide (CO) to Carbon Dioxide (C02) which has great safety and environmental implications.  Hydrogen Fuel cell research has been another area of great interest and Gold Nano catalysts have shown good capabilities in Preferential Oxidation (PROX) of Carbon Monoxide in Hydrogen streams.  This is essential, the preferential oxidation catalyst may be employed to reduce carbon monoxide in fuel gas streams supplied to fuel cells wherein carbon monoxide will poison the active noble metal membrane and higher preferential oxidation temperatures may reduce the hydrogen content of the gas stream.  Gold Nano particles have shown promise at low temperatures overcoming this technical barrier

It was discovered that Gold Nano Particles enhanced many other desired chemical reactions and has been used in many diverse applications such as:

  • Oxidising Hydrocarbons
  • Increasing yields in the Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) Process compared to current technology
  • Conversion of Glucose to Gluconic Acid
  • CO removal in Personal and Collective protection applications
  • Removal or Oxidation of Odours
  • Air purification in cabin air
  • Preferential Oxidation (PROX) of CO in Hydrogen Streams.  Fuel Cells.

Much research still goes on and the above list is far from exclusive but gives a glimpse of the possibilities of Gold Nano Particles as catalysts and their benefits in increased conversion rates and yields compared to current technologies available.

Gold can usually achieve the same or better results than higher loaded Platinum (Pt) based catalysts and have been found to enhance the results achieved with bimetallic catalysts.  This represents the possibility of achieving same or better results at a lower cost and consuming less of these precious resources.

We would invite people to explore the uses and further applications of Gold Nano Catalysts.

Premier Chemicals Ltd are at the forefront of several applications studies and gold catalyst supplies on a number of different supports. 

Post time: 12-25-2017