Glycerol Hydrogenolysis Into Propylene Glycol: Effect of Ruthenium Addition
This paper presents glycerol hydrogenolysis to propylene glycol over 35%Cu/Al2O3 catalyst under ambient pressure at 250 oC. The effects of gas hourly space velocity, Ru addition on 35%Cu/Al2O3 and pattern of catalyst packing (single and double layer) were investigated. In addition, the catalysts were characterized for their properties by XRD and N2 adsorption-desorption. Decreasing gas hourly space velocity increased glycerol conversion and the excessive contact time further hydrogenated propylene glycol to 1-propanol and other by-products. Because of the excellent hydrogenation activity of Ru, 1%Ru-35%Cu/Al2O3 was chosen to maximize the propylene glycol formation. The catalyst containing 1%Ru did not improve the conversion of glycerol but it still maintains the propylene glycol selectivity both in single and double layers catalyst. Double layer catalyst seems to be the promising packing pattern in this study because it attained the highest hydroxyacetone selectivity and lower other by-products.
Index terms- Glycerol, Copper, Ruthenium, Hydrogenolysis, Propylene glycol.