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Issue 8, 2009
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Selective formation of lactate by oxidation of 1,2-propanediol using gold palladium alloy supported nanocrystals

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Abstract

The use of bio-renewable resources, such as glycerol, a by-product from bio-diesel manufacture, can provide a viable way to make valuable products using greener technology. In particular, glycerol can be reduced to give 1,2-propanediol that can then be selectively oxidised to lactate, which has immense potential as a monomer for the synthesis of biodegradable polymers. We show that gold-palladium alloy catalysts can be very effective for the selective oxidation of 1,2-propanediol to lactate. Two supports, TiO2 and carbon, and two preparation methods, wet impregnation and sol-immobilisation, are contrasted. The addition of palladium to gold significantly enhances the activity and retains the high selectivity to lactate using O2 as oxidant (we observe 96% lactate selectivity at 94% conversion). Use of hydrogen peroxide is also possible but lower activities are observed as a result of the reaction conditions, but in this case no marked enhancement is observed on addition of palladium to gold. Comparison of the activity for C3 alcohols shows that the reactivity decreases in the order: glycerol > 1,2-propanediol > 1,3-propanediol1-propanol > 2-propanol. The use of a sol-immobilisation preparation method as compared to impregnation leads to alloy catalysts with the highest activity for lactate formation from the oxidation of 1,2-propanediol; the origins of these activity trends are discussed.

Graphical abstract: Selective formation of lactate by oxidation of 1,2-propanediol using gold palladium alloy supported nanocrystals

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 Dec 2008, accepted on 29 Apr 2009 and first published on 28 May 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B823285G
Citation: Green Chem., 2009,11, 1209-1216

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    Selective formation of lactate by oxidation of 1,2-propanediol using gold palladium alloy supported nanocrystals

    N. Dimitratos, J. A. Lopez-Sanchez, S. Meenakshisundaram, J. M. Anthonykutty, G. Brett, A. F. Carley, S. H. Taylor, D. W. Knight and G. J. Hutchings, Green Chem., 2009, 11, 1209
    DOI: 10.1039/B823285G

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