Catalysts with superior catalytic properties: nanoporous gold as a platform for a catalytic building-block design

A. Wittstock, A. Wichmann, K. Frank, M. Biener, J. Biener, A. Rosenauer, M. Bäumer
Lawrence Livermore Nat Laboratory, US

Keywords: catalysis, gold, mesoporous metal, inverse catalyst, CO oxidation, alcohol oxidation

Summary:

Corrosion-derived skeletal nanomaterials such as Raney nickel have been employed in industrial catalysis for the last 70 years. Based on recent developments in the field of material sciences a variety of novel skeletal bulk-nanomaterials evolved. In fact, one of the rising stars in catalysis, gold, usually known for its inertness, can be prepared as a nanoporous bulk material showing astonishing catalytic properties for low temperature oxidation of CO or selective coupling of alcohols such as methanol. However, the full potential of the material might not have been fully developed. We show that the concept of corrosion-derived nanoporous gold materials can be even extended and used as the very basis for a catalytic building block design. For instance by adding metal oxides to the material an oxidation catalyst with extremely high activity and durability can be generated.