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BASF Pd and Pt NanoSelect Catalysts for Selective Hydrogenation

Effective Lead-free Lindlar Catalyst Replacements for Alkyne to cis-Alkene Hydrogenations

In 2008, BASF launched a lead-free, cis-selective, semi-hydrogenation nanocatalyst that can convert alkynes to cis-alkenes.  This innovative catalyst manufacturing technology, NanoSelectTM, allows production of heterogeneous catalysts while maintaining size control over metal crystallites.  Monodispersed Pt and Pd crystallites (~7nm in size) are evenly distributed on an activated carbon or titanium silicate support.  These catalysts offer similar activity and selectivity performance to the Lindlar catalysts. ­­­[1-3]

Pd and Pt NanoSelect™ catalysts are unique nanoparticles for use in the selective hydrogenation of acetylenes to cis‐olefins and substituted nitroarenes to anilines.  

Product #


Metal, Loading, Support


NanoSelect LF 100

Palladium 0.6% on Activated carbon


NanoSelect LF 200

Palladium 0.5% on Titanium silicate


NanoSelect Pt‐100

Platinum 0.8% on Activated carbon


NanoSelect Pt‐200

Platinum 0.8% on Activated carbon(molybdenum promoted)

NanoSelect™ catalysts are produced in water rather than organic solvents.  The commercially available ammonium surfactant, hexadecyl(2‐hydroxyethyl)dimethyl ammonium dihydrogen phosphate (HHDMA), is used as the stabilizer and reductant in a process that is readily scalable.  Colloidal nanoparticles are thought to be stabilized by a double layer of HHDMA.

NanoSelect™ palladium catalysts are ideally suited for the partial hydrogenation of functional groups.  These catalysts are particularly effective in the selective hydrogenation of alkynes to cis‐alkenes. Unlike other catalyst systems, common issues such as over hydrogenation to fully hydrogenated product, and isomerization to the trans olefin, do not occur with NanoSelect LF 100 (46-1710) and LF 200 (46-1711).

fig 1

Fig. 1. NanoSelect LF 200 (46-1711) vs Lindlar Catalyst

Although the Pd NanoSelect catalysts contain only 0.5‐0.6 wt% palladium, they have been found in a variety of hydrogenation reactions to exhibit similar activity and selectivity to Lindlar catalysts which contain 5 wt% palladium (Fig. 1).

NanoSelect Pt‐100 (78-1630) and Pt‐200 (78-1635) consist of colloidal platinum nanoparticles (0.8 wt%) highly dispersed on carbon powder supports.  During the preparation of NanoSelect Pt‐200, unreduced (NH4)6Mo7O24 is added as a promoter after deposition of the nanoparticles.  Both catalysts are effective in mediating the selective hydrogenation of nitroarenes to aniline, even in the presence of ketones, nitriles, halides, and other functional groups.


Fig. 2. Substrate scope for NanoSelect Pt‐100 (78-1630) and Pt‐200 (78-1635) catalysts

NanoSelect platinum catalysts are attractive for the nitroarene reduction to anilines.  Use of these catalysts does not lead to the accumulation of unstable hydroxylamine intermediates or the production of undesired azo or azoxy species from unwanted side reactions.

More information about NanoSelect can be found on our corresponding literature sheet.


  1.        Stud. Surf. Sci. Catal., 2010, 175, 135
  2.        Top. Catal., 2012, 55, 505
  3.        ChemCatChem, 2013, 5, 582


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