Title

Discerning How Catalyst Support Influences the Products in Aqueous Phase Glycerol Processing

School Name

South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Engineering

Presentation Type

Mentored

Abstract

In the production of biodiesel, aqueous glycerol is a byproduct that can be converted into useful chemicals and fuels. Catalysis, which involves lowering activation energy, drives this reaction. Catalysts are composed of metal, specifically platinum in our reaction due to its efficiency in C-C bond breakage, and support which may vary but is composed of metal oxides. The objective of this research is to understand fundamental aspects about the catalysis of glycerol conversion, specifically how alumina and silica supports affect the way that platinum catalysts function for this reaction. Specifically, we aim to monitor the functions of these catalysts by using them to create liquid products from glycerol via the aqueous phase processing (APP) reaction. In APP, glycerol is converted into gaseous products, such as H₂, and liquid products, such as ethanol, in the upflow fixed bed reactor. Specifically, aqueous glycerol is pumped through the reactor along with pressurized inert gases, and the glycerol is converted to the previously listed products, among others. Liquid phase samples are collected at the reactor outlet, and they are analyzed using a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (GC/MS) which looks for the propylene glycol, acetol, ethylene glycol, ethanol, and methanol. Eventually, this product analysis will lead to better understanding of how supports influence the product distributions in the APP of glycerol, which will facilitate the design of new catalysts with optimized supports. In addition to performing analysis, we are writing standard operating procedures for the upflow fixed bed reactor and GC/MS, which will assist future researchers.

Location

Founders Hall 250 B

Start Date

3-30-2019 8:45 AM

Presentation Format

Oral Only

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Mar 30th, 8:45 AM

Discerning How Catalyst Support Influences the Products in Aqueous Phase Glycerol Processing

Founders Hall 250 B

In the production of biodiesel, aqueous glycerol is a byproduct that can be converted into useful chemicals and fuels. Catalysis, which involves lowering activation energy, drives this reaction. Catalysts are composed of metal, specifically platinum in our reaction due to its efficiency in C-C bond breakage, and support which may vary but is composed of metal oxides. The objective of this research is to understand fundamental aspects about the catalysis of glycerol conversion, specifically how alumina and silica supports affect the way that platinum catalysts function for this reaction. Specifically, we aim to monitor the functions of these catalysts by using them to create liquid products from glycerol via the aqueous phase processing (APP) reaction. In APP, glycerol is converted into gaseous products, such as H₂, and liquid products, such as ethanol, in the upflow fixed bed reactor. Specifically, aqueous glycerol is pumped through the reactor along with pressurized inert gases, and the glycerol is converted to the previously listed products, among others. Liquid phase samples are collected at the reactor outlet, and they are analyzed using a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (GC/MS) which looks for the propylene glycol, acetol, ethylene glycol, ethanol, and methanol. Eventually, this product analysis will lead to better understanding of how supports influence the product distributions in the APP of glycerol, which will facilitate the design of new catalysts with optimized supports. In addition to performing analysis, we are writing standard operating procedures for the upflow fixed bed reactor and GC/MS, which will assist future researchers.