Syngas as a versatile hydrogen source: Using readily available and economically favorable syngas as a convenient hydrogen source, an efficient and sustainable aqueous reduction of bio-based carboxylic acids has been achieved over a highly robust catalyst system consisting of gold nanoparticles supported on acid-tolerant single-phase monoclinic zirconia (Au/m-ZrO2). A range of bio-based multifunctional carboxylic acids have been selectively converted into their corresponding lactones or diols in high to excellent yields.
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