Production of acrylic acid from biomass-derived allyl alcohol by selective oxidation using Au/ceria catalysts
Acrylic acid is an important industrial chemical and it is currently produced from crude oil-derived propylene by selective oxidation. A new pathway for its more sustainable production has been suggested, from glycerol to allyl alcohol to acrylic acid. The selective oxidation of allyl alcohol to acrylic acid has been achieved in basic aqueous solution using a Au/ceria catalyst. The ways to enhance the selectivity towards acrylic acid have been sought by changing the kind of support, Au nanoparticle size, and Au oxidation states. We found that the Au oxidation state affected the selectivity significantly. Whereas the catalyst prepared by the colloidal deposition method contained mostly metallic Au and produced more 3-hydroxypropionic acid, the catalyst prepared by the deposition–precipitation method contained oxidic Au and produced more acrylic acid with the CC bond preserved.