Selective oxidation of alcohols by supported gold nanoparticles: recent advances
Industrially, oxidation of alcohols is very important as they are starting materials for a variety of ketones, aldehydes, acids, etc. required to produce plastics, detergents, paints, cosmetics, food additives and drug intermediates. The potential of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) in oxidation, in general, is immense owing to its tendency to dissociate dioxygen. Supports play a vital role not only in the synthesis and stabilization of nanoparticles, but can also look after the issues of sustainability by facilitating separation, recycling and recovery of catalyst. In the oxidation of alcohols, supports also control the outcome of the reaction. This review aims to systematically discuss the recent developments in the selective oxidation of alcohols catalyzed by supported gold nanoparticles. We draw attention to the impressive progress that has taken place in the oxidation of alcohols in the last thirteen years, leading to several green, sustainable and highly efficient protocols. The effect of a support on the remarkable properties of gold nanoparticles in terms of its catalytic activity, selectivity, recyclability, and stability is discussed at length. Mechanistic aspects of these conversions are discussed in brief.