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Platinum Metals Rev., 1995, 39, (4), 159

Platinum and Palladium Convert Biofuel By-product

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The search for non-polluting automotive fuels has encouraged a growth in alternative fuels, including biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. Several countries already use biofuels and in Europe biodiesel is produced from rapeseed oils, yielding up to 14 per cent of potentially valuable glycerol. Now, R. Garcia, M, Besson and P. Gallezot {Appl Catal. A: Gen., 1995, 127, (1–2), 165-176) report that they can orientate the selectivity of glycerol oxidation to oxidation of the primary or secondary alcohol function. A 77 per cent selectivity at 90 per cent conversion to glyceric acid on palladium catalysts, and a 55 per cent selectivity to glyceric acid on platinum catalyst were achieved. A bismuth-platinum catalyst achieved a 37 per cent yield in dihydroxyacetone.

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