Selective electro-oxidation of glycerol to tartronate or mesoxalate on Au nanoparticle catalyst via electrode potential tuning in anion-exchange membrane electro-catalytic flow reactor

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A potential-controlled glycerol oxidation to tartronate or mesoxalate was demonstrated on Au nanoparticle catalysts in a self-designed anion-exchange membrane electro-catalytic flow reactor. The investigation clearly shows that by tuning the anode potential from 0.35 to 0.65. V, the selectivity to tartronate dropped from 79% to 26%, while that to mesoxalate increased from 0% to 57%. The tests also indicate that the elongation of reaction time will only increase the glycerol conversion, having little effects on the product distribution. The work may open a new route for the controllable oxidation of biorenewable polyols to valuable chemicals. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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Applied Catalysis B: Environmental