Gold nanoparticles stabilized on nanocrystalline magnesium oxide as an active catalyst for reduction of nitroarenes in aqueous medium at room temperature†
Gold nanoparticles deposited on nanocrystalline magnesium oxide is a very efficient catalyst for the reduction of nitroarenes in aqueous medium at room temperature. Sodium borohydride is used as the source of hydrogen for the reduction of nitro groups. This catalytic system selectively reduces the nitro group even in the presence of other sensitive functional groups under very mild conditions in good to excellent yields without the requirement of any promoters. The reaction kinetics of reduction of 4-nitrophenol to 4-aminophenol has been studied by UV-visible spectrophotometry, and its apparent rate constant has been determined and compared with those of other supported gold catalysts. The spent heterogeneous catalyst is recovered by simple centrifugation, and reused for multiple cycles.