The current utilization of renewable biomass - carbohydrates in general, and sugars in particular, as feedstock for the chemical industry is modest when considering their ready availability at low cost and the huge as yet unexploited potential. Efforts to boost the production of bio-based chemicals and to replace those derived from petrochemical sources certainly include the development of new catalytic processes. The chemistry of gold offers unique opportunities in catalysis in general, and excellent chance for the development of viable industrial processes for conversion of renewable biomass into bio-based chemicals. Gold nanocatalysts have been studied and exhibit excellent catalytic properties and high selectivity in various reactions, especially catalytic oxidations, however gold has a limited impact on industrial catalysis. This post-doctoral research project will be developed as part of an existing FAPESP process number 2012/08691-0 - "Exploring the chemistry of gold and its unique opportunities in catalysis for conversion of biomass to biobased chemicals. The main objectives are the development of the catalytic systems based gold combined with other metals (eg, Pd, Cu, Pt) for use in the oxidation of carbohydrates. The selective oxidation is one of the most important functional group transformations in organic chemistry, being crucial in industrial processes for the generation of important intermediates.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: