In this review we discuss the history of research into the use of gold for the acetylene hydrochlorination reaction, and describe the recent developments which have led to its commercialisation. We discuss the use of different precursors and the addition to gold of a secondary metal as methods which attempt to improve these catalysts, and consider the nature of the active gold species. The vast majority of poly vinyl chloride (PVC) produced globally still uses a mercuric chloride as a catalyst, despite the environmental problems associated with it. Due to the agreement by the Chinese government to remove mercury usage in the PVC industry over the course of the next few years there is an obvious need to find a replacement catalyst; the potential use of gold for this process has been well known for several decades and to date gold seems to be the best candidate for this, primarily due to its superior selectivity when compared to other metals.
- Poly vinyl chloride
- Vinyl chloride monomer