Transformations of glucose to 1,2-propylene glycol were studied over a mechanical mixture of ZnO and Ru/C catalysts in the presence of hydrogen. Different reaction conditions were evaluated by changing the reaction temperature and hydrogen pressure. In addition to the cascade mode of operation, also separate steps in the overall reaction network, such as hydrogenation of pyruvaldehyde and hydroxyacetone to 1,2-propylene glycol were investigated. Fructose as a starting material was also studied resulting in a propylene glycol yield of 37.5%. The optimal temperature for glucose transformation to propylene glycol was found to be 165 °C. The influence of temperature on the catalytic behavior was more prominent than the effect of hydrogen pressure. Thermodynamic analysis of glucose transformation to 1,2-propylene glycol was performed and a plausible kinetic model reflecting a complex reaction network was developed being able to describe the data in a reliable way.
- 1,2-Propylene glycol
- Heterogeneous catalysts
- Kinetic modelling
- Optimization of reaction conditions
- Thermodynamic analysis