Gold WGC Hidden Element In Innovation


Published on

Recent years have seen the emergence of many more exciting potential applications for gold which are evolving into commercial applications, ulitimatley reaching end consumers and thus benefiting society as a whole.
A wide range of new gold development activities can be found in the fields of medical applications, environemntal control, and renewable energy.
From cancer detection to cleaner water and improved automobile emission control, gold is set to play a key role in a safer, healtheier, more environmentally-friendly future.

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Gold WGC Hidden Element In Innovation

  1. 1. GoldThe hidden element in innovation
  2. 2. About the World Gold Council ContentsThe World Gold Council (WGC) is the Executive summary 01market development organisation for An enduring track record 02the gold industry. Working within theinvestment, jewellery and technology Cutting-edge diagnostics 06sectors, as well as engaging in government New antimicrobial materials 08affairs, its purpose is to provide industry Cleaner chemical production 10leadership, whilst stimulating andsustaining demand for gold. Reducing automotive emissions 11We develop gold-backed solutions, Improving water quality and health 13services and markets, based on true Environmental protection 14market insight. As a result, we create Clean energy 15structural shifts in demand for goldacross key market sectors. Accelerating developments 16We provide insights into the international References 16gold markets, helping people to betterunderstand the wealth preservationqualities of gold and its role in meetingthe social and environmental needsof society.Based in the UK, with operations in India,the Far East, the Middle East, Europeand the USA, the WGC is an associationwhose members include the world’sleading and most forward thinking goldmining companies.Gold  |  The hidden element in innovation
  3. 3. Executive summary Gold’s applications are all around us. Highly conductive andcorrosion resistant, the metal is an essential component in everydayelectronic devices. In addition, the use of gold in medicine andchemistry is critical to a range of other well-known products andprocesses too. In many ways gold is the ‘hidden element’; quietlyplaying a vital role in the functioning of things we take for granted.Recent years have seen the emergence The production of almost all commercially-of many more exciting potential applications important substances and chemicalsfor gold. The World Gold Council supports involves the use of a catalyst to improve thethe development of these innovations, efficiency and economics of the them the best chance of evolving into Selecting the correct catalyst is criticalsuccessful commercial applications which to many processes; from pharmaceuticalwill ultimately benefit society. We are production to controlling automotiveplaying a pivotal role in the transition from emissions. With long undiscovered, unique‘lab’ to ‘market’ by investing in a range of performance characteristics, gold is nowtechnology development activities in the considered to be a viable, cost-effectivefields of medical applications, environmental catalyst for a range of processes. Seeingcontrol and renewable energy. From cancer this potential, the World Gold Council hasdetection to cleaner water and improved invested to accelerate the commercial useautomobile emission control, gold is set of gold in automotive emissions play a key role in a safer, healthier, more This technology is entering productionenvironmentally-friendly future. during the first quarter of 2011. World Gold Council-supported researchers are also usingAs an example, the World Gold Council gold catalysts and nanoparticles to clean upis actively supporting the expanding contaminated water supplies, reduce mercuryapplications for gold nanoparticles in emissions and produce common chemicalsimportant medical diagnostics, a market more efficiently. These technologies are alsopredicted to almost double by 2015. Gold well on the way to commercial use.nanoparticles are showing great promisein the diagnosis of a range of illnesses By continuously reviewing and monitoringand diseases including cancer, HIV/AIDS the global research landscape for newand Alzheimer’s. Similarly, it has been breakthroughs in gold-related sciencedemonstrated that gold nanoparticles and technology, the World Gold Councilloaded with antibiotics show significant will be able to identify and accelerateantimicrobial activity. During 2011, World the development of other innovations.Gold Council support will enable further Whether it is more efficient solar cells,optimisation of the gold-based materials next generation rechargeable batteriesinvolved in each of these technologies. or new medical uses, we continue to help put gold at the heart of technology. 01
  4. 4. An enduring track recordGold has a long and fascinating history in technology.It is the material of choice in a diverse range of applicationsand in many cases, its unique properties make it the onlychoice for guaranteed reliability and functionality.7th century BC 4th century AD 1803 1909 1957The first gold The first gold The first gold Gold and Gold bondeddentistry nanoparticles electroplating the structure microchips of the atomKey moments in history7th century BC The first gold dentistry 1803 The first gold electroplatingThe Etruscans used gold wire to hold substitute teeth The first recorded electroplating experiment wasin place, which is the first recorded use of gold carried out by Professor Luigi Brugnatelli at thein dentistry. The advantages of gold alloys for University of Pavia. Plating gold for electrical contactsdental applications, its biocompatibility, malleability is now a key technology used by the electronicsand resistance to corrosion, mean it is still used industry in modern mobile phones and computers.extensively today. 1909 Gold and the structure of the atom4th century AD The first gold nanoparticles Nobel Prize winner Ernest Rutherford used goldThe Romans used gold to colour glassware foil in an experiment to successfully unravel thesuch as the Lycurgus Cup. The glass contains structure of the atom.nanoparticles of metals, including gold, that 1957 Gold bonded microchipsreflect light in a unique way. Gold bonding wire is used in microchips built at the Bell Laboratories in the US. Nowadays literally billions of wires are bonded in this manner annually for use in the consumer electronic devices we all take for granted.Gold  |  The hidden element in innovation
  5. 5. 1961 1980s 1985 1990s 2001 2011Gold into Gold as Treating Pregnancy Medical Catalyticspace a catalyst arthritis testing kits implants converters1961 Gold into space 1990s Pregnancy testing kitsThe first manned space flight used gold to protect Gold nanoparticles were at the core of the FDA-sensitive instruments from radiation. By 1980, cleared First Response pregnancy testing kits.the US space shuttle contained nearly 41kg of Initially marketed by Carter-Wallace, these tests aregold used in brazing alloys, fuel cell fabrication, still available today through consumer healthcarefor coated plastic films or in electrical contacts. giant Church and Dwight.1980s Gold as a catalyst 2001 Medical implantsProfessor Graham Hutchings in South Africa and Boston Scientific market the NiroyalTM stent – the firstProfessor Masatake Haruta from Japan published gold-plated stent. Stents act like scaffolding, proppingresearch showing how gold can be a catalyst for up the blood vessels and keeping them open to allowchemical reactions. Catalysts are an essential adequate blood flow. The radiopacity of gold meanscomponent of many different industrial processes that gold-plated stents offer the best visibility underused to produce chemicals, foodstuffs and other an x-ray enabling them to be positioned where thematerials we take for granted. surgeon wants them.1985 Treating arthritis 2011 Catalytic convertorsAuranofin, a gold-based drug developed by With World Gold Council support, US companypharmaceutical giant SmithKline & French for the Nanostellar commercialised the first automotivetreatment of rheumatoid arthritis, received regulatory catalytic convertor technology that uses goldapproval and went on sale for the first time. Gold is alongside other precious metals, like platinum,still used to treat this condition today. for more effective control of car emissions. 02 _03
  6. 6. Gold’s technological applications are As technology continues to advance,all around us, in many different forms. gold will be used in a multitude of newExamine your mobile phone and you will products and processes and we expectalmost certainly see gold plated contacts. innovations from new research to developInside your computer and on your digital into significant new markets. Recent yearscamera memory card you will find gold have seen an explosion of interest in theplating on the circuit boards. As a result use of gold in science and technology,of the growth in consumer electronics, mainly as a result of the emergence ofthe long term annual consumption of gold nanotechnology. Analysis of scientificin this market is increasing. Where reliability research papers and published patentrequirements are high, gold is the preferred applications reveals exceptional growth inchoice. Engineers specify gold in a number this field (see chart below). Conversion ofof other high-tech applications, such as just a fraction of this promising research intoin fuel cells, jet engines, as a lubricating commercial applications will open excitingmaterial and as a coating on architectural new markets for, to name just a few. Gold and medicinehave also been linked for millennia. Morerecent years have seen dentistry, precisesurgery, rapid and robust diagnostics andtherapeutics all benefit from gold’s inherentversatility and biocompatibility.Published patents and research papers on the use of goldin nanoscience and technologySource: World Gold CouncilGold | The hidden element in innovation
  7. 7. Thousands of copies of the recent World GoldCouncil white paper Gold for Good – Gold and Our advisory boardNanotechnology in the Age of Innovation1have been requested since its launch early To provide additional insight and expertin 2010. The popularity of this report, and guidance on our research and developmentthe subsequent coverage it received in activities in 2011 and beyond, the Worldpublications such as Nature Nanotechnology,2 Gold Council has formed a new Internationalsuggest that many others share the World Technology Advisory Board. The board isGold Council’s excitement about the comprised of internationally recognisedpotential of these technologies. experts in relevant fields. Current members are:Despite this potential, there is a gapbetween government-funded early stage Professor Enrique Iglesiaresearch and venture capital-backed Theodore Vermeulen Chair in Chemicaltechnology commercialisation. This means Engineering, University of Californiapromising research and technology can at Berkeley, USAoften struggle to reach the market. Dr Barry MurrerThe World Gold Council helps bridge this Director of Technology Centre,gap through supporting the development Johnson Matthey Plc, UKof exciting gold-based technologies, so thatmany of them will ultimately evolve into Professor T. Pradeepsuccessful commercial applications which Indian Institute of Technologybenefit society in the longer-term. Madras, IndiaThe World Gold Council is playing a pivotal Professor Vincent Rotellorole in the transition from ‘lab’ to ‘market’ Charles A. Goessmann Professorby investing in technology development of Chemistry, University ofin the following areas. Massachusetts, USA• medical diagnosis and treatment• environmental monitoring and control• energy efficiency and renewablesWorking with some of the world’s leadingresearchers, we are helping to drive gold-based innovations towards commercialisation.This report explores a few examples of theWorld Gold Council’s involvement insupporting cutting-edge technologies. 04 _05
  8. 8. Cutting-edge diagnostics Most people are unaware that gold has long been at the heart of oneof the most common diagnostic tools used by millions of people everyyear; pregnancy testing kits. Small gold nanoparticles are the perfectmaterial for this quick, reliable diagnostic test.Gold  |  The hidden element in innovation
  9. 9. The small quantities of gold required in nanoparticles in diagnostics. One suchmost diagnostic devices make it a cost example is the groundbreaking workeffective use of the metal, whilst the currently being carried out by Professornanoparticle stability, sensitivity and Molly Stevens at Imperial College, London.reproducibility of manufacture help Professor Stevens and her team areguarantee test accuracy. Other established exploiting the versatility of the goldexamples of similar diagnostic tools include nanoparticle by coating the surface of thethe simple tests sold by Merck KGaA to tiny metal particles with a range of largedetect rapidly the range of pathogens biological molecules which effectively createsuch as Salmonella, E. Coli and a ‘mesh’. The system is designed so that ifCampylobacter in food. this mesh is exposed to certain enzymes indicative of specific disease states, it willAccording to a recent BCC research dissipate and change colour.4 This simple,report,3 in 2010, the global value of gold elegant tool is showing great promise in thenanoparticle based diagnostics was $50 diagnosis of a range of diseases includingmillion, a figure projected to almost double HIV/AIDS and 2015 predominantly as a result of excitingadvances in the field. One such example A second World Gold Council-supportedis the ongoing growth of the Illinois-based project in the field of diagnostics involvescompany, Nanosphere, which has delivered the development of equipment whicha fully integrated diagnostics platform called accurately detects proteins linked to cancer.Verigene™ to market. The Verigene™ This research is led by US-based researcherssystem operates by detecting specific Professor Qun Huo of the University ofbiomolecule targets with gold nanoparticles. Central Florida and Dr Cheryl Baker ofThese gold-based probes are non-toxic, M.D. Anderson-Orlando’s Cancer Researchhave a long shelf life and, most importantly, Institute. The technology hinges onare extraordinarily sensitive. The system can engineering gold nanoparticles to attachbe used to diagnose a broad range of conditions, themselves to specific cancer-relateda number of which have now received FDA proteins. When these proteins are present inapproval in the US. Additionally, Nanosphere the blood, they sense the gold nanoparticleshas a collaboration with Eli Lilly, one of the and form ‘clusters’ in the solution. It isworld’s leading healthcare companies, which these clusters that can be measured usingutilises its gold-based technologies in the a technique called Dynamic Light Scattering,field of early drug discovery. an extremely sensitive particle sizing method.5 If clusters are shown to be present,According to a recent report, 3 the patient can be referred to a doctor for further testing and treatment if necessary.the global value of gold This exciting research has now beennanoparticle-based diagnostics is spun out into a start up company calledprojected to almost double by 2015. Nanodiscovery Inc., which has already developed a prototype instrument and isThe World Gold Council is actively aiming to begin supplying the technologysupporting the expansion of markets for gold to research centres in 2011. 06_07
  10. 10. New antimicrobial materials The prevention and treatment of infection has long been one ofmedicine’s biggest challenges, and is a challenge that continues tothis day. Novel materials are constantly being sought to help tacklethe serious issue of antimicrobial resistance.Silver has a long history of being used promising antimicrobial activity whenas an antimicrobial agent, and is applied formulated into a thin film.7 Manufacturingin a large number of marketed products. the particles is straightforward and theProbably the best known of these is the use formulated film is robust. It appears toof nano-silver impregnated dressings to treat increase significantly the longevity of thewounds and prevent infections. However, antibacterial activity against a range ofthe antimicrobial effectiveness of silver is bacteria including E. coli and S. aureus.known to deplete over time. Tackling thisdrawback has long challenged researchers, Combining gold with the silver canbut recent World Gold Council-supportedresearch has demonstrated that combining lead to improved and longer-lastinggold with the silver can lead to improved and antimicrobial effectiveness.longer-lasting antimicrobial effectiveness.6 World Gold Council support of this workAnother recent development by researchers in 2011 will allow optimisation of both thein the UK has demonstrated that gold materials and processes involved in thisnanoparticles loaded with Cefaclor, a second- exciting breakthrough.generation antibiotic, show extremelyGold  |  The hidden element in innovation
  11. 11. 08_09
  12. 12. Cleaner chemical production The production of almost all commercially-important substancesand chemicals involves the use of a catalyst to improve the efficiencyand economics of the process. Selecting the correct catalyst is criticalto many processes ranging from pharmaceutical manufacturingto oil refining.Size is important in catalysis. Chemical (VCM), the manufacture of which reliesreactions almost always take place on the on a polluting, mercury-based catalyst.surface of the catalyst so the use of small China alone used approximately 800 tonsparticles is an effective way of increasing of mercury for VCM production in 2005,surface area. Using precious metal and this is widely believed to be to benanoparticles can reduce the amount of the single largest use of mercury in anymetal required, and optimised catalysts can one sector in any country on earth.8both lower the temperatures and pressures Gold-based catalysts form the basis ofrequired in some industrial processes, a far more desirable and efficient methodimproving the efficiency of reactions. This for manufacturing VCM, which completelycan result in more of the desired chemical removes the need for a mercury catalyst.being produced, and less waste. Professor Graham Hutchings at CardiffFor many years, gold was believed to be University, one of the leading pioneersof no practical use as a catalyst, despite of gold catalysis, has studied this particularother precious metals like platinum and reaction in great depth9 and in collaborationsilver being widely employed. This has with Johnson Matthey and the World Goldnow changed, with gold a viable catalyst Council, has recently identified improvedin a variety of industrially important processes, methods and materials for implementingincluding in Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) gold into this important manufacturingproduction. VAM is a key ingredient in process. A new cost-effective useemulsion polymers, resins and intermediates for gold in cleaner chemical productionused in paints and adhesives. A related and is on the horizon.even more widely used ‘building block’chemical is Vinyl Chloride MonomerGold  |  The hidden element in innovation
  13. 13. Reducing automotive emissions The World Gold Council has a market and NOx (smog forming compounds).changing partnership with Silicon Valley- The inclusion of gold enables manufacturersbased Nanostellar, which is pioneering the of light and heavy-duty diesel enginesuse of gold in automotive emission control. to reduce these emissions at lower cost, enabling significant savings forProclaimed as a 2008 ‘Technology automotive manufacturers.Pioneer’ by the World Economic Forum,Nanostellar has developed a new catalyst The World Gold Council investedproduct, NS Gold™, for use in the in Nanostellar to accelerate theautomotive industry which, for the first commercialisation of the technology,time, includes gold alongside traditional putting gold at the heart of automotiveplatinum and palladium metals. emissions control. The technology isAuto catalysts have historically used entering production in the first quarterplatinum group metals to control harmful of 2011.elements in automotive exhaust fumes;carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas), World Gold Council has helpedhydrocarbons (from partially burned to place gold at the heart of futurefuel that gives off diesel or petrol odour),particulate matter (or smoke – which technologies like automotivecontains cancer causing compounds) emissions control. 10_11
  14. 14. Gold  |  The hidden element in innovation
  15. 15. Improving water  quality and health World Gold Council’s support for new technologies hasextended to India, the largest market in the world for gold.For Professor T. Pradeep, at the Indian The chemical, trichloroethylene, is knownInstitute of Technology in Madras, gold’s to be a poisonous groundwater pollutant.central position in Indian society could soon It is linked to a variety of serious humanextend from jewellery into new technology. health issues including liver damage,Professor Pradeep, a leading expert in water impaired pregnancy and cancer, makingpurification technology and nanomaterials, its removal from all water supplies critical.and recent recipient of the prestigious To accelerate the commercialisation of thisShanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, has shown promising technology, the World Goldgold nanoparticles can detect and remove Council supported a collaborative partnershippesticides, halogenated organics and heavy alongside catalyst developers Mintekmetals from drinking water.10 in South Africa (under Project AuTEK) and the research team at Rice University.Through the support of the World Gold Through this partnership a gold-basedCouncil the range of contaminants that can catalyst has been designed, manufacturedbe addressed by gold nanoparticles has and tested under laboratory conditions.been extended and the technology moved Early results are impressive, with significantcloser towards commercialisation. With efficiency gains achieved over existingthousands of people in India at risk of technology. A pilot facility is currently undersuffering health effects as a consequence construction at a major chemical companyof drinking contaminated water, the site within the US, where the effectivenesscontribution that this gold technology of the gold catalyst will be further testedcould make to this part of the world is at scale during 2011.very exciting and potentially life-changing.On the other side of the world another World Gold Council supported aleading researcher is using an equally collaborative partnership alongsideinnovative approach to clean up watersupplies. Professor Michael Wong at catalyst developers Mintek inRice University in Houston has developed South Africa (under Projecta novel gold-palladium nanoparticle catalyst, AuTEK) and the research teamwhich shows incredibly high activityin breaking up a common chlorinated in Rice University.pollutant into harmless constituents.11 12 _13
  16. 16. Environmental protectionReducing emissions of harmful pollutants is a key target of practicallyevery government on earth. One example of such a pollutant is mercury,which is found naturally in small deposits around the world. However,it is also a by-product of coal-fired boilers which can release smallquantities of the metal into the atmosphere.As mercury has been linked to Alzheimer’s Published research confirms that gold-disease and autism, it is anticipated that based catalysts can provide a solution.the US Environmental Protection Agency Studies performed at the US National Energy(EPA) is soon to impose stringent limits Technology Laboratory (NETL) have shownon mercury emissions from a range of gold nanoparticles to have considerableboilers in the utilities industry.12 Couple promise as mercury oxidation catalysts,this with the fact that the US is relying capable of substantially reducing emissions.increasingly on the use of coal to produce Full-scale trials are now underway in oneelectrical power, it is clear that any such US power station. In parallel, furtherlimits could prove difficult (and costly) to improvements in gold catalyst formulationsmeet. Consequently, there is currently a are being supported by the World Goldmajor focus on identifying methods to more Council at Queen’s University, Belfast.13effectively prevent the release of toxicforms of mercury into the atmosphere.Gold  |  The hidden element in innovation
  17. 17. Clean energyReducing the world’s reliance on burning fossil fuels as asource of energy is critical to both reducing pollution andtackling climate change.Achieving this relies on successfully manufacturers should achieve.16 World Goldidentifying new technologies which can Council has begun championing the use ofexploit clean, renewable sources of energy. gold-coated stainless steel as a durable,This represents a significant challenge, cost-effective solution to the targets set bybut it is an area in which gold is showing the DOE. Ford Motor Company is particularlyconsiderable promise. Recently, a catalyst interested in this technology, with a recentwas developed by researchers at MIT that report detailing the development of cost-has the potential to make rechargeable effective, nanoscale gold coatings for uselithium-air batteries significantly more in their fuel cell programme.17efficient, a step toward making these high- Finally, whilst the solar cell market is nowenergy-density batteries practical for use in relatively well established, there are still keyelectric vehicles and elsewhere. With senior technical issues to be tackled. These stemautomobile industry figures suggesting from the relatively poor efficiencies ofthat electric cars will comprise 10% of the commercially available cells, making anymarket by 2020, this is clearly a field of improvements in this field particularlycritical importance.14 The catalyst developed desirable. Early research has shown goldat MIT consists of nanoparticles of gold and nanomaterials may be used as an efficiency-platinum and the research suggests that this improving additive for a range of solar cellnew approach to lithium-air battery catalysts designs; the gold nanoparticles enhancecould lead to the even higher efficiencies the optical absorption in the range of visibleneeded for commercial batteries.15 light, potentially giving rise to improvedA related area of interest is that of fuel cells conversion of solar energy.which have long been promoted as a leading The World Gold Council is currently intechnology in future renewable energy discussion with a number of prominentsources. For commercial applications, academic groups and start up companiesseparator plates (a key component in many in the clean energy space. Researchersfuel cells) must be resistant to corrosion, working in the field are encouraged tobe durable and have low electrical resistance. contact us to explore any opportunitiesThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has for collaboration.set targets in these areas that fuel cell 14 _15
  18. 18. Accelerating developmentsThe World Gold Council creates value by accelerating theemergence of new gold-based technologies. By continuouslyreviewing and monitoring the global research landscape forbreakthroughs and emerging technologies we are able to progresswith key market developments.Our expertise is utilised by an extensive We are interested in working with researchersnetwork of stakeholders including industrial and companies developing gold-basedmanufacturers, investors, researchers and innovations, and would encourage relevantacademics. Where appropriate we make parties to contact ordirect investments in promising innovations visit our website at help overcome barriers on the road to for more information.commercialisation.References 1. Gold for Good – Gold and Nanotechnology in the Age of Innovation. World Gold Council, 20102. Editorial – Nat Nanotech 5, 167, 20103. Nanobiotechnology: Applications and Global Markets, BCC research, 20114. Alli et al., Nano Lett, DOI: 10.1021/nl1024062, 20115. Bogdanovic et al., Anal Biochem, Volume 405, Issue 1, 96, 20096. Zaporojtchenko et al., invited presentation at GOLD2009, Heidelberg, 20097. Rai et al., J. Mater. Chem. 20, 6789, 20108. DePass, Testimony before the US-China economic and security review commission, 20109. Hutchings, Gold Bulletin, Volume 42 No 4, 260, 200910. Pradeep & Anshup, Thin Solid Films, Volume 517, Issue 24, 6441, 200911. Wong et al., J. Chem. Tech. & Biotech, 84, 158, 200912. – accessed January 201113. World Gold Council press release, 2009, BBC interview – Carlos Ghosn, 2010, Lu et al., JACS, 32 (135), 12170, 201016. De las Heras, et al., Energy & Environmental Science, 2, 206, 200917. Kumar et al., J. Power Sources, 195, 1401, 2010Gold  |  The hidden element in innovation
  19. 19. World Gold Council10 Old Bailey, London EC4M 7NGUnited KingdomT +44 20 7826 4700F +44 20 7826 4799W February 2011