One-pot synthesis of bio-fuel additives from glycerol and benzyl alcohol: FeCl3/MCM-41 as a highly efficient tandem catalyst: CHEMECA 2017

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The demand for renewable resources, surplus availability, low cost and lower environmental impact has led to the utilization of bio-glycerol into high value derivatives and functional chemicals for sustainability of bio-diesel industry. The production of bio-fuel additives has attracted great interest in recent years as there is a gradual shift from petro-based chemicals to green chemicals. This work studies the direct synthesis of oxygenated fuel additive 1,3-dioxalane from glycerol and benzyl alcohol over FeCl3/MCM-41 catalyst prepared by wet impregnation method. The reaction progresses successfully to produce 1,3-dioxalane by in-situ oxidation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde and subsequent condensation reaction of benzaldehyde with glycerol. Interestingly, glycerol, herein was found to exhibit dual function, primarily as a green solvent to facilitate the oxidation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde and as a fuel additive precursor to produce 1,3-dioxalane in the preceding reaction. FeCl3/MCM-41 catalyst presented high performance achieving 92% glycerol conversion with 86% selectivity to 1,3-dioxalane in a reaction performed at 110 oC for 120 minutes. The intrinsic physicochemical and textural properties of the catalyst were studied using XRD, FTIR, EDX, BET surface area, TPD and XPS. The effect of various reaction parameters were examined to establish the optimised reaction conditions. The effect of calcination temperature was found to have a significant role on the catalytic activity. The stability of catalyst was investigated through time-on-stream studies and reusability tests. These results indicate the potential of FeCl3/MCM-41 as a highly promising tandem catalyst for environmentally benign one-pot synthesis of bio-fuel additive from glycerol.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

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