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Issue 4, 2008
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Oxidation of glycerol and propanediols in methanol over heterogeneous gold catalysts

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Abstract

Aerobic oxidation of glycerol over metal oxide supported gold nanoparticles in methanol results in the formation of dimethyl mesoxalate in selectivities up to 89% at full conversion. The oxidative esterification takes place in methanol, acting both as solvent and reactant, and in the presence of base. Thus, it constitutes a direct transformation of the glycerol by-product phase from biodiesel production or from glycerol obtained e.g. by fermentation. Au/TiO2 and Au/Fe2O3 was found to have similar catalytic activity, whereas Au/C was inactive. 1,2-Propanediol was oxidized to methyl lactate with a selectivity of 72% at full conversion, while 1,3-propanediol yielded methyl 3-hydroxypropionate with 90% selectivity at 94% conversion. Methyl 3-hydroxy propionate can be easily converted into methyl acrylate, which is then a green polymer building block.

Graphical abstract: Oxidation of glycerol and propanediols in methanol over heterogeneous gold catalysts

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Sep 2007, accepted on 21 Dec 2007 and first published on 17 Jan 2008


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B714292G
Green Chem., 2008,10, 408-414

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    Oxidation of glycerol and propanediols in methanol over heterogeneous gold catalysts

    E. Taarning, A. T. Madsen, J. M. Marchetti, K. Egeblad and C. H. Christensen, Green Chem., 2008, 10, 408
    DOI: 10.1039/B714292G

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