Hydrogenolysis of Glycerol over γ-Al2O3-Supported Iridium Catalyst

  • Tamer S. Ahmed Cairo University, Egypt
  • Omar Y. Abdelaziz Cairo University, Egypt
  • George W. Roberts North Carolina State University, USA


In recent years, much attention has been focused on the hydrogenolysis of biodiesel derived glycerol to other high value products for the sustainable development and efficient valorization strategies. In the present work, alumina-supported Ir catalyst was prepared by the incipient wetness impregnation method and tested in the glycerol hydrogenolysis reaction. The synthesized catalyst was characterized by neutron activation analysis, N2 physisorption, and H2 chemisorption techniques. The experiments standard conditions were 150 mL feed volume, 0.3 g catalyst, 1500 rpm stirring speed, and 5 wt% glycerol aqueous solution for 4 h. The effects of catalyst amount, temperature, hydrogen pressure, stirring speed, and solution pH on glycerol conversion and selectivity of the principal products obtained were also investigated. The glycerol conversion and the 1,2-propanediol selectivity varied from 4.9% to 22% and from 23.8% to 70.3%, respectively. It was found that the selectivity of 1,2-propanediol increased significantly with the increased alkalinity of the reaction medium.

Keywords: hydrogenolysis, glycerol valorization, iridium, catalysis, alumina, biodiesel
Published online
How to Cite
Ahmed, T., Abdelaziz, O. and Roberts, G. (2017) “Hydrogenolysis of Glycerol over γ-Al2O3-Supported Iridium Catalyst”, Periodica Polytechnica Chemical Engineering, 61(4), pp. 295-300. doi: https://doi.org/10.3311/PPch.9872.