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August 20th, 2008
Scientists hope gold nanoparticles may help in the search for a more environmentally-friendly way of producing cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
Chemist Dr Vladimir Golovko of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and colleagues report their findings in today's issue of the journal Nature.
The manufacture of many industrial and consumer products relies on oxidation reactions that create chemicals called epoxides.
According to Professor Milton Hearn of the Centre for Green Chemistry at Monash University the manufacture of perfumes, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and polymers all rely on such reactions.
But, says Hearn, epoxide production often involves toxic catalysts and chlorinated solvents.
He says the chemical industry globally has prioritised finding more environmentally-friendly ways of producing expoxides.
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