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Ultra-stable Gold Nanocatalysts

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing SummaryGold is inert in large quantities but exhibits surprisingly high catalytic activity when dispersed as small nanoparticles on selected metal oxides. ORNL researchers successfully deposited and stabilized gold nanoparticles on surfaces of rare earth materials, creating ultra-stable gold nanocatalysts that exhibit unprecedented efficiency in industrial oxidation processes. The bottleneck for commercialization of gold catalysts has been problems with critical stability. DescriptionThe stability of the gold nanocatalysts yielded from this invention exceeds that of the gold reference nanocatalyst supplied by the World Gold Council. As a result, the nanocatalysts are an excellent fit for industry settings requiring reactions with improved catalytic efficiency. These nanocatalysts may be deposited on semiconductive metal oxides and alkaline earth metal hydroxides.

In one version of this invention, gold nanocatalysts are synthesized by depositing gold nanoparticles on rare earth phosphate nanoparticles. Another version of the invention employs a stabilizing support with two chemically distinct layers to form a multilayer support. This technique provides a gold nanocatalyst with enhanced stability at high temperature in oxygen containing environments.
  • Improved stability under high-temperature treatments
  • Oxidation ability of gold nanoparticles on semiconductive metal oxides
Applications and Industries
  • Industrial processes
  • Catalyzing hydrocarbons in methanol synthesis
  • Reducing nitric oxide by hydrogen, propane, or carbon monoxide
  • Propylene epoxidation, PROX reaction, fuel cell applications, and hydrogenation of unsaturated hydrocarbons
More InformationLead Inventor:
Sheng Dai
Chemical Sciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 7,629,291
Surface-stabilized gold nanocatalysts
A surface-stabilized gold nanocatalyst includes a solid support having stabilizing surfaces for supporting gold nanoparticles, and a plurality of gold nanoparticles having an average particle size of less than 8 nm disposed on the stabilizing surfaces. The surface-stabilized gold nanocatalyst provides enhanced stability, such as at high temperature under oxygen containing environments. In one embodiment, the solid support is a multi-layer support comprising at least a first layer having a second layer providing the stabilizing surfaces disposed thereon, the first and second layer being chemically distinct.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory 12/08/2009
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
UT-B ID 200401486DevelopmentAvailable10/20/201012/15/2010

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To: Jennifer Tonzello Caldwell<>