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Energies 2018, 11(10), 2691; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11102691

Electrochemical Hydrogenation of Acetone to Produce Isopropanol Using a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Reactor

1
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA
2
Department of Chemistry, Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668, USA
3
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 August 2018 / Revised: 1 October 2018 / Accepted: 2 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuel and Bioenergy Technology)
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Abstract

Electrochemical hydrogenation (ECH) of acetone is a relatively new method to produce isopropanol. It provides an alternative way of upgrading bio-fuels with less energy consumption and chemical waste as compared to conventional methods. In this paper, Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) hardware was used as an electrochemical reactor to hydrogenate acetone to produce isopropanol and diisopropyl ether as a byproduct. High current efficiency (59.7%) and selectivity (>90%) were achieved, while ECH was carried out in mild conditions (65 °C and atmospheric pressure). Various operating parameters were evaluated to determine their effects on the yield of acetone and the overall efficiency of ECH. The results show that an increase in humidity increased the yield of propanol and the efficiency of ECH. The operating temperature and power supply, however, have less effect. The degradation of membranes due to contamination of PEMFC and the mitigation methods were also investigated. View Full-Text
Keywords: acetone; electrochemical hydrogenation; isopropanol; membrane contamination; polymer electrolyte membrane; relative humidity acetone; electrochemical hydrogenation; isopropanol; membrane contamination; polymer electrolyte membrane; relative humidity
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Li, C.; Sallee, A.M.; Zhang, X.; Kumar, S. Electrochemical Hydrogenation of Acetone to Produce Isopropanol Using a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Reactor. Energies 2018, 11, 2691.

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