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From Glycerol to Value-Added Products

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Front. Chem. | doi: 10.3389/fchem.2019.00108

Extending Catalyst Life in Glycerol-to-acrolein Conversion Using Nonthermal Plasma

 Xiaofei P. Ye1*, Benjamin Katryniok2,  Mickaël Capron2,  Sébastien Paul2, Franck Dumeignil2 and Lu Liu1, 3
  • 1The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, United States
  • 2Unit de Catalyse et Chimie du Solide, Lille University of Science and Technology, France
  • 3Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, United States

Booming biodiesel production worldwide demands valorization of its byproduct of glycerol. Acrolein, an important intermediate chemical, can be produced by gas-phase glycerol dehydration catalyzed by solid acids. Because catalysts that lead to high acrolein selectivity usually deactivate rapidly due to the formation of coke that blocks the active sites on their surface, one major challenge of this method is how to extend the service life of the catalyst. Silica-supported silicotungstic acid (HSiW-Si) is a good example of such a catalyst that shows good activity in glycerol dehydration to acrolein initially, but deactivates quickly. In this study, HSiW-Si was selected to probe the potential of using nonthermal plasma with oxygen-containing gas as the discharge gas (NTP-O2) to solve the catalyst deactivation problem. NTP-O2 was found to be effective in coke removal and catalyst regeneration at low temperatures without damaging the Keggin structure of the HSiW-Si catalyst.

Keywords: nonthermal plasma (NTP), Glycerol (GLY), Acrolein (ACR), coking, deactivation, Catalyst regeneration

Received: 29 Aug 2018; Accepted: 11 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Mohamed Kheireddine Aroua, Sunway University, Malaysia

Reviewed by:

FEDERICA VALENTINI, Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Chimiche, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy
Tamer S. Saleh, National Research Centre (Egypt), Egypt  

Copyright: © 2019 Ye, Katryniok, Capron, Paul, Dumeignil and Liu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Xiaofei P. Ye, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, United States, xye2@utk.edu