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Base-catalysed reduction of pyruvic acid in near-critical water

Li Gang Luo, Zhi Qiang Hoau, Yuan Yuan Wang, and Li Yi Dai

Department of Chemistry, East China Normal University, 200241, Shanghai, China



Abstract: The reduction of pyruvic acid in near-critical water has successfully been conducted under conditions of various temperatures, pressures, reaction time and the presence of formic acid as the reducing agent. In this work, additives (K2CO3, KHCO3, and sodium acetate) used in the reduction of pyruvic acid were also investigated. The results showed that by adding K2CO3 (25 mole %) a markedly higher lactic acid yield (70.7 %) was obtained than without additives (31.3 %) at 573.15 K, pressure of 8.59 MPa, 60 min, and in the presence of 2 mol L−1 formic acid. As a base catalyst, K2CO3 definitely accelerated the reduction of pyruvic acid. The reaction rate constants, average apparent activation energy and pre-exponential factor were evaluated in accordance with the Arrhenius equation. The reaction mechanism of the reduction was proposed on the basis of the experimental results.

Keywords: near-critical water – additives – pyruvic acid – reduction – lactic acid

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-013-0308-x


Chemical Papers 67 (5) 509–516 (2013)

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