The aim of the project is to develop novel gold-nanoparticle-catalysts for production of renewable chemicals.
Until recently metallic gold was considered essentially unreactive. However, during the last decade it has been shown that gold nano-sized particles are surprisingly active and selective catalysts for several oxidation reactions with molecular oxygen in particular.
Oxygen is considered a “green” oxidant because it produces water as the only by-product. From an economic point of view, aerobic oxidation is also very attractive due to the low cost of air and its unlimited accessibility. In organic chemistry, the oxidation of alcohols is one of the most important reactions. However, many of these oxidations are usually carried out using stoichiometric amounts of high-valent metal oxides, e.g. manganese or chromium oxides, which produce a huge amount of waste in term of metal atoms. To provide a practical and environmentally friendly alternative to these classical oxidations we have invested considerable effort in the development of aerobic oxidations.
Projects at all levels are offered within Renewable Chemicals regarding gold-catalyzed conversion of renewable alcohols into carboxylic acids and derivatives as exemplified above. Depending on project direction and aim, projects will take place in cooperation with Danish companies
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