Indexed on: 28 Jul '18Published on: 27 Jul '18Published in: ACS Central Science
Heterogeneous gold catalysts display many active centers including cations, clusters of atoms, and nanoparticles all of which can exhibit activity depending on the reaction.Catalysis is at the heart of many manufacturing processes and underpins provision of the goods and infrastructure necessary for the effective wellbeing of society; catalysis continues to play a key role in the manufacture of chemical intermediates and final products. There is a continuing need to design new effective catalysts especially with the drive toward using sustainable resources. The identification that gold is an exceptionally effective catalyst has paved the way for a new class of active heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts for a broad range of reactions. As a heterogeneous catalyst gold is the most active catalyst for the oxidation of carbon monoxide at ambient temperature. It is also the most effective catalyst for the synthesis of vinyl chloride by acetylene hydrochlorination, and a gold catalyst has recently been commercialized in China for this reaction. In this outlook the nature of the active gold species for these two reactions will be explored.