Unannealed CuNiMoP electrocatalyst was found active in electrochemical oxidation of glycerol, providing over 60% conversion without optimization. Prompted by this result, the same catalyst was investigated for the thermochemical oxidation of glycerol. For the thermochemical oxidation of glycerol using the as-deposited electroless CuNiMoP catalyst, a 23
full factorial design of experiments (two level factorial experiment design with three factors) to assess the influence of temperature (A), reaction time (B) and pressure (C). The major reaction products detected by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were glyceric, hydroxypyruvic, tartronic, oxalic and formic acids. The factors found to be most significant for the production of glyceric and tartronic acids were A, B, C, AB and BC. The highest percent conversion obtained for 30-min and 60-min catalysts was 10.6% and 9.4%, respectively. The presence of lactic acid was observed only for the 60-min as-deposited electroless CuNiMoP/Al2
catalyst. The results suggest the feasibility of an inexpensive catalyst based on non-noble metals for the thermochemical oxidation of glycerol through the electroless deposition technique. Some differences exist between the thermochemical and electrochemical product selectivity of the CuNiMoP catalyst, and reasons are suggested for the observed differences.
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