Gold catalyst highlighted in Scientific American
29 January 2016
The current issue of Scientific American features the gold-based catalyst discovered by Prof Graham Hutchings and developed by a team at Cardiff that is being commercialized in China for the production of polyvinyl chloride.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has many important uses in a wide range of applications. Currently the main manufacturing route in China uses a mercury-based catalyst, however, it is not particularly stable under reaction, resulting in significant mercury emissions to the environment. The new gold catalyst does not suffer from this problem and its replacement of mercury catalysts it set to have a significant environmental impact.
The gold catalyst is now being commercialized by Johnson Matthey, and the high performance of the catalyst along with its stability is generating considerable interest amongst PVC manufacturers throughout China.