Hydrogenolysis of glycerol over Cu-based hydrotalcite-like catalysts in a mild condition

Hydrogenolysis of glycerol over Cu-based hydrotalcite-like catalysts in a mild condition
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Glycerol is a main by-product of biodiesel production derived from biomass such as vegetable oil, palm oil etc. The recent rapid development of biodiesel processes has caused some concern over the oversupply of glycerol [1]. Excessive production of glycerol from biodiesel production could not only flood the current market for glycerol but also negatively impact the economical aspect of biodiesel. Finding novel processes for converting glycerol to high value-added products can contribute to the economics of biodiesel process. One of the most attractive approaches of converting glycerol is to produce propanediol(1,2-PDO) by selective hydrogenolysis of glycerol. Nano-sized Noble metals such as Ru, Rh, and Pt are well-known as active catalysts in the hydrogenolysis of glycerol to 1,2-PDO. Unfortunately, these catalysts often promote excessive C–C cleavage, resulting in a low selectivity to 1,2-PDO in spite of high conversion of glycerol [2]. Cu-based catalysts have been reported to have a superior performance in this reaction due to their poor activity for C–C bond cleavage and high efficiency for C–O bond hydrogenolysis [3]. In this study, we prepared the Cu based hydrotalcite-like catalysts by solid phase crystallization and hydrothermal methods. Hydrogenolysis of glycerol over the prepared catalysts was investigated in a mild condition. The prepared catalysts before and after the reaction were characterized by XRD, TEM, N2 physisorption, CO chemisorption, TPR and NH3-TPD techniques.
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