Production of compounds to be used as fuel additive: Glycerol conversion using Nb-doped MgAl mixed oxide
•Nb-doped mixed oxide highly active was obtained by the generation of peroxo groups after activation with H2O2.•The mass spectrometry showed that ether was mainly produced.•The catalytic activity of modified catalyst was monitored under several conditions.
MgAl mixed oxide from hydrotalcite was modified with niobium and evaluated as a catalyst for a liquid-phase glycerol conversion in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. Niobium oxide exhibited high activity for glycerol conversion via heterogeneous catalysis at 250 °C. Gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC–MS) analysis of the reaction showed that diglycerol, ethers and ketone were the main products. The results strongly suggest that the glycerol conversion involves acid groups and oxidizing species generated upon reacting with H2O2 and niobium. Furthermore, catalytic tests monitored by electrospray mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) suggest that ethers, such as di, tri and tetra glycerols, are formed during the glycerol condensation (m/z = 167, 223, 241, and 315). Preliminary tests using the reaction products as additives for gasoline demonstrate that the octane is increased due to the presence of ether formed from glycerol conversion.
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Journal: Catalysis Today - Volume 213, 15 September 2013, Pages 65–72