The selective oxidation of 1,2-propanediol by supported gold-based nanoparticulate catalysts
The oxidation of 1,2-propanediol to form lactic acid and hydroxyacetone has been investigated using supported metal nanoparticles. A series of supported gold, palladium, platinum and combinations of these metals have been investigated. In the presence of base the major product formed is lactate, often in excellent yields as, under these conditions the terminal hydroxyl group is oxidised. In the absence of base, more vigorous conditions are required to elicit high conversions; surprisingly, a major product from such reactions is a mono-oxidation product hydroxyacetone, along with lactate.