Catalysis by gold nanoparticles: epoxidation of propene

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Supported nano-gold catalysts have attracted rapidly growing interest due to their potential applicability to various reactions of industrial and environmental significance. In this article, we focus on the advances related to the direct vapor-phase oxidation of propene to propene oxide in the presence of molecular oxygen and hydrogen over gold catalysts supported on Ti-incorporated silica materials prepared by different methods. The importance of catalyst preparation and pretreatment method, nature of support material, Au particle size and loading amount is emphasized. Possibilities to enhance the catalyst performance by using promoters and by silylation are also discussed.

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