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It is sometimes beneficial to use a platinum group metal in an unsupported from, particularly where the support could cause side reactions or product retention by absorption. For example, a reaction may only proceed in the desired direction in the absence of support, perhaps owing to the larger crystallite size of the finely divided metal in the unsupported form.
The range of unsupported catalysts produced by Johnson Matthey includes a range of platinum oxides as well as the oxides of the other platinum group metals, and a number of metal blacks.