Oxidation of glycerol using gold–palladium alloy-supported nanocrystals
The use of bio-renewable resources for the generation of materials and chemicals continues to attract significant research attention. Glycerol, a by-product from biodiesel manufacture, is a highly functionalised renewable raw material, and in this paper the oxidation of glycerol in the presence of base using supported gold, palladium and gold-palladium alloys is described and discussed. Two supports, TiO(2) and carbon, and two preparation methods, wet impregnation and sol-immobilisation, are compared and contrasted. For the monometallic catalysts prepared by impregnation similar activities are observed for Au and Pd, but the carbon-supported monometallic catalysts are more active than those on TiO(2). Glycerate is the major product and lesser amounts of tartronate, glycolate, oxalate and formate are observed, suggesting a sequential oxidation pathway. Combining the gold and palladium as supported alloy nanocrystals leads to a significant enhancement in catalyst activity and the TiO(2)-supported catalysts are significantly more active for the impregnated catalysts. The use of a sol-immobilisation preparation method as compared to impregnation leads to the highest activity alloy catalysts and the origins of these activity trends are discussed.
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