Exploring the reaction conditions for Ru/C catalyzed selective hydrogenolysis of xylitol alkaline aqueous solutions to glycols in a trickle-bed reactor

Florian Auneau, Maeva Berchu, Guillaume Aubert, Catherine Pinel, Michèle Besson, Daniela Todaro, Marco Bernardi, Tiziano Ponsetti, Renzo Di Felice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The hydrogenolysis of an alkaline aqueous solution of xylitol to mainly ethylene- and propylene-glycols was studied over a Ru/C catalyst in a high pressure fixed-bed reactor run in the trickle-bed mode with co-current downflow of liquid feed and hydrogen. The effects of reaction parameters including H 2 pressure (40-80 bar), temperature (190-200 °C) and pH values (NaOH/xylitol molar ratio in the range 0.1-0.2, pH 9-12) and residence time have been explored to increase the selectivity of this reaction to the desired ethyleneglycol product. The activity and final products distribution were much influenced by the hydrogen pressure. An optimum to afford a high conversion and a high selectivity to ethyleneglycol at different space times was found at 60 bar. The effects observed are in agreement with the reaction pathways previously proposed and the relative reaction rates of the dehydrogenation/hydrogenation and base-catalyzed reactions of the intermediates are affected by the hydrogen pressure and the concentration of the alkaline promoter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-106
Number of pages7
JournalCatalysis Today
Volume234
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2014

Keywords

  • Continuous reactor
  • Ethyleneglycol
  • Hydrogenolysis
  • Propyleneglycol
  • Ruthenium catalyst
  • Xylitol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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