Green Gold Catalysis

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Science  15 Jan 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5963, pp. 278-279
DOI: 10.1126/science.1184203

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In the efforts to develop a more sustainable chemical industry, there is an urgent need to discover and implement cleaner chemical transformations that should preferably use only renewable resources as starting materials, and produce no hazardous waste at all. Thus, catalytic oxidations that use atmospheric air as the oxidant and form pure water as the only by-product are of utmost importance. It is clear that catalysts featuring nanometer-sized gold particles can play an important role in advancing such green oxidations (1). On page 319 of this issue, Wittstock et al. (2) take green gold catalysis one step closer toward industrial application.