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Hydrogenolysis of glycerol to propanediols over heteropolyacids promoted AgCu/Al2O3 catalysts

Wei Zhu, Peng-Xin Shen, Yuan Wang, Fu-Feng Cai, and Guo-Min Xiao

School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, China



Abstract: Various amounts and different types of heteropolyacids promoted 5Ag15Cu/Al2O3 catalysts were prepared by impregnation method and analyzed through many techniques. The synthesized catalysts were evaluated for hydrogenolysis of glycerol to propanediols. The results demonstrated that heteropolyacids loading facilitated the reduction, promoted the dispersion, enhanced the acidity, and increased Broensted acid sites of the AgCu catalysts, which benefited the generation of 1,3-propanediol. Compared with phosphotungstic acid and phosphomolybdic acid, silicotungstic acid promoted AgCu catalyst had a better performance for 1,3-propanediol due to the better Cu dispersion and higher Broensted acidity. In addition, when the reaction was performed at 220 °C under 3.5 MPa for 8 h, the chosen 5Ag15Cu-10HSiW/Al2O3 achieved a 69.6% glycerol conversion with 35.6% 1,2-propanediol selectivity and 21.5% 1,3-propanediol selectivity.

Keywords: Glycerol; Hydrogenolysis; Propanediol; AgCu; HSiW

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-017-0160-5


Chemical Papers 71 (9) 1645–1655 (2017)

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