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Catalysts 2017, 7(7), 196; doi:10.3390/catal7070196

Selective Hydrogenolysis of Glycerol and Crude Glycerol (a By-Product or Waste Stream from the Biodiesel Industry) to 1,2-Propanediol over B2O3 Promoted Cu/Al2O3 Catalysts

Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Western University, London, ON N6GA5B9, Canada
School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Anhui University of Technology, Ma’anshan 243002, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Keith Hohn
Received: 29 April 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 25 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glycerol Conversion by Heterogeneous Catalysis)
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The performance of boron oxide (B2O3)-promoted Cu/Al2O3 catalyst in the selective hydrogenolysis of glycerol and crude glycerol (a by-product or waste stream from the biodiesel industry) to produce 1,2-propanediol (1,2-PDO) was investigated. The catalysts were characterized using N2-adsorption-desorption isotherm, Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), X-ray diffraction (XRD), ammonia temperature programmed desorption (NH3-TPD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), temperature programmed reduction (TPR), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Incorporation of B2O3 to Cu/Al2O3 was found to enhance the catalytic activity. At the optimum condition (250 °C, 6 MPa H2 pressure, 0.1 h−1 WHSV (weight hourly space velocity), and 5Cu-B/Al2O3 catalyst), 10 wt% aqueous solution of glycerol was converted into 1,2-PDO at 98 ± 2% glycerol conversion and 98 ± 2% selectivity. The effects of temperature, pressure, boron addition amount, and liquid hourly space velocity were studied. Different grades of glycerol (pharmaceutical, technical, or crude glycerol) were used in the process to investigate the stability and resistance to deactivation of the selected 5Cu-B/Al2O3 catalyst. View Full-Text
Keywords: boron oxide; Cu/Al2O3; glycerol; crude glycerol; 1,2-propanediol boron oxide; Cu/Al2O3; glycerol; crude glycerol; 1,2-propanediol

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Nanda, M.R.; Yuan, Z.; Shui, H.; Xu, C.C. Selective Hydrogenolysis of Glycerol and Crude Glycerol (a By-Product or Waste Stream from the Biodiesel Industry) to 1,2-Propanediol over B2O3 Promoted Cu/Al2O3 Catalysts. Catalysts 2017, 7, 196.

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