Dehydration–hydrogenation of glycerol into 1,2-propanediol at ambient hydrogen pressure
The vapor-phase reaction of glycerol was performed over copper metal catalysts at ambient hydrogen pressure. Glycerol was converted into 1,2-propanediol (1,2-PDO) through the dehydration into hydroxyacetone, followed by the hydrogenation into 1,2-PDO. The yield of 1,2-PDO was limited up to 80% at a constant temperature of 190 °C because of a trade-off problem between the dehydration and the hydrogenation. The dehydration needs relatively high reaction temperatures, whereas the hydrogenation favors low temperatures and high hydrogen concentration. We developed an efficient process during which glycerol was converted into 1,2-PDO with yield higher than 96% in hydrogen flow at gradient temperatures; the dehydration into hydroxyacetone was catalyzed at ca. 200 °C, and the following hydrogenation into 1,2-PDO was completed at ca. 120 °C. The developed process controls the thermodynamic equilibrium of the second-step hydrogenation.
Graphical abstractWe developed an efficient catalytic process in which glycerol was converted into 1,2-propanediol with yield higher than 96% over Cu catalyst at gradient temperatures and ambient hydrogen pressure. The developed process controls the equilibrium of the second-step hydrogenation to achieve high selectivity.Figure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload as PowerPoint slide
Journal: Applied Catalysis A: General - Volume 371, Issues 1–2, 15 December 2009, Pages 60–66