Chinese scientists find ways to make copper behave as gold in catalysis

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/24 20:38:39

Copper ‘can behave as gold’ in catalysis

Workers check copper wire in a plant in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. Photo: VCG

A team led by Chinese scientist Sun Jian at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has found a way to make copper behave as gold and silver in catalysis, according to a statement the institute sent to the Global Times on Monday.

The new material based on copper could serve as a catalyst for reaction producing liquids from coal, a role only precious metals such as gold, could assume before, and the method is expected to be widely adopted in the coal chemical industry," Sun told the Global Times on Monday.

The discovery could have huge potential given China's vast coal reserves and the country's push for clean energy sources.

Although precious metals have good catalytic properties, using them for such processes is hindered by high costs. Copper, which is not a precious metal, is also more plentiful.

The experiment does not necessarily mean that "copper could turn into gold," said Sun. At the moment, production of the catalyst is still at the experimental level, and only several grams can be manufactured. If used in real production, a significant amount of these catalysts will be needed.

Sun said that his team is also exploring more possibilities involving precious metal transformation.

"By then, the application scenario will be further expanded, and it won't be limited to the coal chemical industry," noted Sun.

One example might be the production of electronic devices, Sun said.

Newspaper headline: Copper ‘can behave as gold’ in catalysis


blog comments powered by Disqus