More Gold in Auto Catalysts?

Source: Mineweb.com  (12/10/07)

World Gold Council (WGC), the organisation responsible for driving global demand for gold, and Nanostellar, a leading-edge developer of emission control technologies, have agreed to a long-term strategic partnership to enable the introduction of gold into the auto catalyst market.

It may be that a breakthrough catalyst formulation could see a dramatic increase in gold use, but may not be good news for platinum producers. World Gold Council (WGC), the organisation responsible for driving global demand for gold, and Nanostellar, a leading-edge developer of emission control technologies, have agreed to a long-term strategic partnership to enable the introduction of gold into the auto catalyst market. Under this agreement, WGC has invested in Nanostellar in order to facilitate the commercialisation and marketing of the gold based technology that could increase industrial demand for gold.

Recently proclaimed a 2008 Technology Pioneer* by the World Economic Forum, Nanostellar has developed a new product, NS Gold, a catalyst formulation for use in the automotive industry that for the first time includes gold alongside traditional platinum and palladium metals. The inclusion of gold enables manufacturers of light and heavy-duty diesel engines to reduce noxious emissions by as much as 40% more than existing pure platinum catalysts, enabling significant savings for automotive manufacturers. The potential to use gold in this type of application has long been considered, but until now the technical challenges concerning catalyst durability have prevented gold's use. WGC reports "independent test results confirm Nanostellar's breakthrough which, if adopted by the automotive industry, could lead to an increase in industrial demand for gold, which in 2006 totalled 16.1 Moz (458 t)."

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