An Excellent Catalyst for Hydrogenolysis of Glycerol

An Excellent Catalyst for Hydrogenolysis of Glycerol

Author: Weifeng Ding

Because of dwindling petroleum resources, biomass has attracted much interest. Many studies have been devoted to the selective hydrogenolysis of glycerol with inexpensive metals as catalysts, but these reactions suffer from harsh reaction conditions or complex catalytic systems. The development of economic metal catalysts with high activity, selectivity and reusability is of great importance.

Weilin Dai and his co-workers, Fudan University, China, described the first one pot glycerol hydrogenolysis reaction over a robust CoAl alloy catalyst. Hydrogenolysis was possible without any pre-treatment to obtain 1,2-propanediol and ethylene glycol with a conversion of 100 %. After recycling the catalyst five times, a conversion of 90 % could still be attained. The reaction conditions are much milder than those previously reported and the liquid products can be easily separated from the solid catalyst, which is expected to open a route to practical applications.

Image: © SIOC, CAS, Shanghai & WILEY-VCH

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