Catalytic Conversion of Glycerol to Valuable Commodity Chemicals
The recent progress of research and development on the catalytic selective conversion of glycerol to valuable commodity chemicals is reviewed in this chapter. Glycerol is currently produced in large quantities during the biodiesel process and as such is an important and useful by-product. The reaction networks of the different processes such as selective oxidation, hydrogenation, dehydrogenation, hydrogenolysis, gasification, etc., are discussed as a function of the type of catalyst (supported noble or non-noble metal catalysts, porous oxides, micro- and mesoporous) and reaction conditions on the selectivity to desired products. In conclusion, the effective utilization of glycerol will be a key factor that can promote biodiesel commercialization and further development. As a biomass-derived chemical feedstock, its utilization is also part of the global challenge aiming at the production of marketable chemicals via the catalytic transformation of biosustainable resources employed as substitutes for fossil fuels and fine chemicals.