Platinum is a catalyst used for hydrgenation of alkenes, alkynes, nitro groups; also used for hydrogenolysis of cyclopropanes, catalyzes oxidation of alcohols.
Irving Langmuir. The absorption of gases on plane surfaces of glass, mica and platinum. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1918, 40 (9), 1361-1403.
Platinum catalysts have a much greater tendency than palladium to reduce aromatic and heteroaromatic rings, and a reduced tendency to bring about hydrogenolysis e.g. of benzyl groups. Other applications of platinum catalysts include: reduction of double bonds; aromatic nitro compounds to amines, and to N-arylhydroxylamines in alcoholic solution, containing 1-2% DMSO; hydrazones to hydrazines; imines to amines; benzonitriles to dibenzylamines in the presence of 0.5 mole water.
For a monograph on catalytic hydrogenation, see: P. N. Rylander, Hydrogenation Methods, Academic Press, N.Y. (1985).
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