Wine into vinegar: It is possible to selectively oxidize ethanol into acetic acid in aqueous solution with air as the oxidant and a heterogeneous gold catalyst (see TEM image of supported gold particles) at temperatures of about 423 K and O2 pressures of 0.6 MPa. This reaction proceeds readily in aqueous acidic media with yields of up to 90 % and CO2 as the only major by-product.
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