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Using gold to catalyze oxidation reactions

By Chemical Engineering |

Polymer-supported nanoclusters of gold have recently been shown to catalyze the oxidation of alcohols to ketones at room temperature in air by the research group of chemistry professor Shu Kobayashi, University of Tokyo (www.chem.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp), in a project supported by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). Now, the researchers have developed a procedure to deposit the gold catalyst onto the inside walls of glass capillary tubes, which can then be used as tubular reactors for performing oxidation reactions continuously. The catalyst strongly binds to the 0.25-µm-thick polysiloxane coating of a commercially available gas-chromatography capillary tube [InertCap 225 from GL Science Co. (Tokyo)]. As a test of the system, 1-phenyl ethanol was oxidized to the corresponding ketone with high yield. After four days of continuous operation, no loss of catalyst or catalyst activity was observed. Improved yields and selectivity have also been observed by oxidation in a palladium-gold-supported capillary system.   Click here for full pdf version of this article – includes all graphs, charts, tables, and author information 
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