Even if rhodium is one of the rarest and the most costly metals, this noble metal has found many catalytic applications, particularly
in hydrogenation and hydroformylation reactions owing to its specific catalytic properties. Tremendous research activities are thus
carried out by the scientific community for the development of novel rhodium-based catalysts. This interest for rhodium catalysts concerns
also the modern “nanocatalysis” area, situated at the frontier between heterogeneous and homogeneous ones, nanoparticles soluble
in a liquid phase being considered as “pseudo homogeneous” systems. A high number of papers describe the preparation of diverse
rhodium nanoparticles in suspension for their application as catalysts in hydrogenation of various substrates (mainly olefins and aromatic
derivatives) in various catalytic conditions (mainly organic or biphasic phases). Concerning hydroformylation catalysis, it appears that
only a few papers deal with rhodium metal nanoparticles for investigation in this reaction, although rhodium is well-known as highly
active metal in hydroformylation reaction in homogeneous conditions.
In this review, rhodium nanoparticle systems that have been prepared for investigation as nanocatalysts in liquid phase hydrogenation and
hydroformylation reactions are described. This work is not comprehensive but provides an overview of the main methods used to synthesize
rhodium nanoparticles for these selected catalytic applications. The objective of this review is to give to the readership an outlook of
the recent advances in this field, as well as of the great potential of rhodium-based nanocatalysts for hydrogenation and hydroformylation
reactions, two reactions of importance in organic synthesis.
Keywords: Nanoparticle, Rhodium, Catalysis, Hydrogenation, Hydroformylation, Organic media, Aqueous media, Biphasic media, Polymer-protected Rhodium, poly(methyl vinyl ether) (PMVE)
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