Scientists discover a hidden gold property

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Gold is the best catalyst for the formation of vinyl chloride. (Photo Archive)

Scientists have found new qualities of gold, traditionally considered a noble metal bit chemically interesting because of their limited ability to react with other substances. The key would be in their nanoparticles.
Researchers from the School of Chemistry at Cardiff University in Wales, say that when broken down into nanoparticles containing only a few hundred atoms, is very reactive.
“Gold has been the subject of human fascination for millennia, largely due to its corrosion resistance and lasting beauty,” says Professor Graham Hutchings, director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI). “However, when broken down into nanoparticles containing only a few hundred atoms, not just change the color, but also becomes highly reactive.”
Hutchings stressed that his research on the effect of gold nanoparticles on chemical and biological processes indicates that in this reduced form “gold reactions are faster, easier and more energy efficient than many other catalysts.”
Catalysis is a technology that is applied to approximately 80 percent and 90 percent of all manufactured goods.
This phenomenon implies a material that is not one of the reactants which accelerates the desired reaction without the need for temperature increase.The catalysts commonly used, such as those containing mercury have proved harmful to the environment and even harmful to human health.
One of the initial discoveries made in Wales is that gold is the best catalyst for the formation of vinyl chloride, the main ingredient for the production of PVC, and has the potential to replace the catalyst mercury harmful to the environment, what would be a great benefit to society.