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Glycerol oxidation using gold-containing catalysts

Villa, Alberto, Dimitratos, Nikolaos, Chan-Thaw, Carine E., Hammond, Ceri, Prati, Laura and Hutchings, Graham John 2015. Glycerol oxidation using gold-containing catalysts. Accounts of Chemical Research 48 (5) , pp. 1403-1412. 10.1021/ar500426g

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Abstract

Glycerol is an important byproduct of biodiesel production, and it is produced in significant amounts by transesterification of triglycerides with methanol. Due to the highly functionalized nature of glycerol, it is an important biochemical that can be utilized as a platform chemical for the production of high-added-value products. At present, research groups in academia and industry are exploring potential direct processes for the synthesis of useful potential chemicals using catalytic processes. Over the last 10 years, there has been huge development of potential catalytic processes using glycerol as the platform chemical. One of the most common processes investigated so far is the catalytic oxidation of glycerol at mild conditions for the formation of valuable oxygenated compounds used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. The major challenges associated with the selective oxidation of glycerol are (i) the control of selectivity to the desired products, (ii) high activity and resistance to poisoning, and (iii) minimizing the usage of alkaline conditions. To address these challenges, the most common catalysts used for the oxidation of glycerol are based on supported metal nanoparticles. The first significant breakthrough was the successful utilization of supported gold nanoparticles for improving the selectivity to specific products, and the second was the utilization of supported bimetallic nanoparticles based on gold, palladium, and platinum for improving activity and controlling the selectivity to the desired products. Moreover, the utilization of base-free reaction conditions for the catalytic oxidation of glycerol has unlocked new pathways for the production of free-base products, which facilitates potential industrial application. The advantages of using gold-based catalysts are the improvement of the catalyst lifetime, stability, and reusability, which are key factors for potential commercialization. In this Account, we discuss the advantages of the using supported gold-based nanoparticles, preparation methods for achieving highly active gold-based catalysts, and parameters such as particle size, morphology of the bimetallic particle, and metal–support interactions, which can influence activity and selectivity to the desired products.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI)
Chemistry
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Publisher: American Chemical Society
ISSN: 0001-4842
Date of Acceptance: 2015
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2017 20:11
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/73637

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