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Selective electroreduction of glycerol to 1,2-propanediol on a mixed carbon-black activated carbon electrode and a mixed carbon black-diamond electrode

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>BioResources
Issue number1
Volume13
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)115-130
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date6/11/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

1,2-propanediol was selectively produced by electroreduction of glycerol in a two-compartment reactor. Two new kinds of cathode electrodes were evaluated: (i) mixed carbon black-activated carbon electrodes and (ii) mixed carbon black-diamond electrodes. These electrodes were compared with a conventional platinum electrode. With a reaction temperature of 80°C, an electric current of 2.0 A, and ambient pressure, the mixed carbon black-activated carbon electrode demonstrated excellent performance and successfully reduced glycerol to 1,2-propanediol with a high selectivity of 86% and 74% glycerol conversion. The selectivity of 1,2-propanediol on the mixed carbon black-diamond electrode and the platinum electrode was 68% and 61%, respectively, with 88% glycerol conversion on the mixed carbon black-diamond electrode and 67% glycerol conversion on the platinum electrode. The authors propose a possible reaction mechanism for the formation of 1,2-PDO.