On April 21, Professor Graham Hutchings (Cardiff, UK) gave a talk "Catalysis by Gold" at Zelinsky Institute as part of the new ZIOC educational project. Over the past decades, gold has become in demand as a catalyst for crucial industrial processes. Prof. Graham described one of such processes – vinyl chloride production, where mercury compounds have been used as conventional catalysts. Gold catalysts proved to be highly active and stable in these processes and, therefore, are an attractive alternative to mercurous chloride catalysts.
The lecture also dealt with possible applications of gold catalysts such as CO oxidation, preparation of glycerol derivatives, and synthesis of hydrogen peroxide by a direct reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Design of high performance catalysts for a direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide using bimetallic particles was particularly discussed.
The lecture aroused much interest in the audience and ended with a vigorous discussion.