CEJ 243-2014-473

Improved production of fuel oxygenates via glycerol acetylation
with acetic acid

The selective formation of fuel oxygenates via glycerol acetylation with acetic acid over a series of
yttrium containing SBA-3 catalysts is reported. The products of glycerol acetylation are mono-, di- and
triacetyl glycerol (MAG, DAG, and TAG, respectively) with TAG being the favored. The Y/SBA-3 was prepared
by grafting yttrium into the framework of SBA-3. XRD, SAXS, FTIR, SEM–EDX, and surface area and
porosity analyzer were used to confirm the properties of the catalysts. The 3%Y/SBA-3 presented unique
catalytic performance achieving complete glycerol conversion with corresponding selectivity of 34% and
55% toward DAG and TAG. Over 0.05 g of this catalyst, the reaction conditions were economized to reaction
temperature of 110 C, molar ratio of glycerol to acetic acid of 1:4, and reaction time of 2.5 h. The
catalytic activity was mainly attributable to the catalyst’ strong acidity and its high surface area with
large pore size that facilitate the diffusion of substrates and products. The reaction kinetics model over
this catalyst has been developed using experimental data. The stability of the catalyst was examined
via leaching and reusability tests through four consecutive batch runs.