Hydrogenolysis of 1,2-propanediol for the production of biopropanols from glycerol

Yasushi Amada, Shuichi Koso, Yoshinao Nakagawa, Keiichi Tomishige

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120 Citations (Scopus)


Production of propanols from glycerol, which are known as biopropanols, requires catalysts for the hydrogenolysis of 1,2-propanediol, which has been easily derived from glycerol. It is found that the Rh/SiO2 catalysts modified with ReOx species exhibited high activity and selectivity in the hydrogenolysis of 1,2-propanediol to propanols with low selectivity to degradation products and high stability. The optimized Rh-ReOx/SiO2 (Re/Rh=0.5) catalyst gave high yields of 1-propanol (66%) and propanols (1-propanol +2-propanol) (85%) in the hydrogenolysis of 1,2-propanediol. In addition, the catalyst was applicable to the one-pot conversion of glycerol to propanols. The structure of Rh metal particles with attached ReOx clusters is suggested from the catalyst characterization. It is proposed that 1,2-propanediol hydrogenolysis proceeds by the hydrogenolysis of the alkoxide species on Re with hydrogen species on the Rh metal surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)728-736
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun


  • Alcohols
  • Biomass
  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Rhenium
  • Rhodium


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