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Deactivation of CuZn Catalysts Used in Glycerol Hydrogenolysis to Obtain 1,2-Propanediol

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Different CuZn catalysts were prepared by coprecipitation method with Cu/Zn atomic ratio of 0.2, 0.4, 1.0, 2.5 and 6.0. Monometallic Zn and Cu catalysts and a bimetallic catalyst (Cu/Zn = 2.5) prepared by physical mixture of the precursors were also studied. These catalysts were tested in the glycerol hydrogenolysis reaction and the higher yields to 1,2-propanediol were achieved for Cu/Zn atomic ratio ≥ 1 samples. The deactivation of a representative catalyst (Cu/Zn = 1) was evaluated and its yield to 1,2 propanediol decreases until ca 40% after five runs. To explain this behavior, fresh and used catalysts were characterized by different techniques. Chemical analysis of solid catalysts and liquid reaction medium confirmed the leaching of Zn species under our reaction conditions. This process promotes Cu sintering which is proposed as the actual reason of the observed deactivation in the glycerol hydrogenolysis for this catalytic system.

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Financial support from Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (CTQ2015-64226-C3-1-R) is gratefully acknowledged. D.D.M. thanks the Spanish Ministry of Education for her FPU fellowship.

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Correspondence to R. Mariscal.

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Durán-Martín, D., Granados, M.L., Fierro, J.L.G. et al. Deactivation of CuZn Catalysts Used in Glycerol Hydrogenolysis to Obtain 1,2-Propanediol. Top Catal 60, 1062–1071 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11244-017-0807-z

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  • Deactivation
  • Glycerol hydrogenolysis
  • CuZn catalysts
  • Zn leaching
  • Cu sintering