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Issue 6, 2003
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Oxidation of glycerol using supported Pt, Pd and Au catalysts

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The oxidation of aqueous solutions of glycerol is described and discussed for Pd, Pt and Au nanoparticles supported on graphite and activated carbon. The oxidation in a batch reactor at 60 °C and 1 bar pressure using air as oxidant was initially investigated. Under these conditions, supported Pd and Pt catalysts give some selectivity to glyceric acid, but the main reaction products are considered to be non-desired C1 by-products, e.g. CO2, HCHO and HCOOH. In addition, under these conditions, supported Au catalysts were totally inactive. Using an autoclave with pure oxygen at 3 bar pressure gave a significant improvement in reactivity and, for Pt and Au catalysts, the formation of C1 by-products was eliminated when NaOH was added. In particular, it was noted that, in the absence of NaOH, the Au/C catalyst was inactive. For 1 wt.% Au/graphite or activated carbon, 100% selectivity to glyceric acid at high conversion was readily achieved. The role of the base is discussed and it is proposed that the base aids the initial dehydrogenation via H-abstraction of one of the primary OH groups of glycerol and, in this way, the rate limiting step in the oxidation process is overcome.

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Dec 2002, accepted on 24 Jan 2003 and first published on 10 Feb 2003

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B212047J
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2003,5, 1329-1336
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    Oxidation of glycerol using supported Pt, Pd and Au catalysts

    S. Carrettin, P. McMorn, P. Johnston, K. Griffin, C. J. Kiely and G. J. Hutchings, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2003, 5, 1329
    DOI: 10.1039/B212047J

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