The in situ transformation of the co-product formaldehyde in the reversible hydrolysis of 1,3-dixoane to obtain 1,3-propanediol efficiently†
Herein, a strategy is developed for efficient production of l,3-propanediol via the hydrolysis of 1,3-dioxane by the in situ transformation of the co-product formaldehyde (HCHO) in the presence of Eu(OH)3. The reversible hydrolysis reaction is promoted to yield 98% conversion and 99% 1,3-propanediol selectivity. Furthermore, HCHO is converted to formic acid (HCOOH) which could act as an acidic catalyst in the hydrolysis of 1,3-dioxane. The combination of FT-IR and control experiments demonstrates that HCOOH is generated via the hydrolysis of formate species which formed on the surface of Eu(OH)3.