Promotional effect of hydroxyl on the aqueous phase oxidation of carbon monoxide and glycerol over supported Au catalysts

William C. Ketchie, Mitsuhiro Murayama, Robert J. Davis

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196 Citations (Scopus)


Gold particles supported on carbon and titania were explored as catalysts for oxidation of CO or glycerol by O2 at room temperature in liquid-phase water. Although Au/carbon catalysts were not active for vapor phase CO oxidation at room temperature, a turnover frequency of 5 s-1 could be achieved with comparable CO concentration in aqueous solution containing 1 M NaOH. The turnover frequency on Au/carbon was a strong function of pH, decreasing by about a factor of 50 when the pH decreased from 14 to 0.3. Evidently, a catalytic oxidation route that was not available in the vapor phase is enabled by operation in the liquid water at high pH. Since Au/titania is active for vapor phase CO oxidation, the role of water, and therefore hydroxyl concentration, is not as significant as that for Au/carbon. Hydrogen peroxide is also produced during CO oxidation over Au in liquid water and increasing the hydroxyl concentration enhances its formation rate. For glycerol oxidation to glyceric acid (C3) and glycolic acid (C2) with O2 (1-10 atm) at 308-333 K over supported Au particles, high pH is required for catalysis to occur. Similar to CO oxidation in liquid water, H2O2 is also produced during glycerol oxidation at high pH. The formation of the C-C cleavage product glycolic acid is attributed to peroxide in the reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-317
Number of pages11
JournalTopics in Catalysis
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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