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  1. ITV Report

Going beyond gold?

Graphene and related materials have remarkable properties. Photo: Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press/PA Images

Catalysts speed up chemical reactions and finding the most efficient has implications for a wide range of applications.

Researchers in Cardiff have previously shown how nanoparticles of gold each containing a few hundred atoms are incredibly reactive.

Now they've shown a catalyst called graphitic oxide – a compound that is a pre-cursor to the ‘wonder material’ graphene could be even better and cheaper.

It could be used in reactions to produce a whole host of everyday materials, from electronics and cosmetics to sanitisation and pharmaceuticals.

And Welsh scientists have come up with a way of making it more reliably.

Their study has been published in the journal Nature Communications

As we look beyond gold to other, more promising materials such as those associated with graphene, this paper is a significant first step along that path.

– Professor Graham Hutchings, Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute