Development of a Ru/C catalyst for glycerol hydrogenolysis in combination with an ion-exchange resin

Tomohisa Miyazawa, Shuichi Koso, Kimio Kunimori, Keiichi Tomishige

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

234 Citations (Scopus)


The combination of Ru/C and Amberlyst ion-exchange resin is effective for the dehydration and hydrogenation (denoted as hydrogenolysis) of glycerol to 1,2-propanediol under mild reaction conditions (393 K). A Ru/C catalyst prepared by using active carbon with a low surface area (∼250 m2/g) showed better performance than that prepared by using active carbon with a high surface area. In addition, treatment of Ru/C catalysts prepared from Ru(NO)(NO3)3 with Ar flowing at the appropriate temperature enhanced the performance compared to that of the commercially available Ru/C catalysts. This temperature treatment can be influenced by the decomposition of Ru precursor salt and aggregation of Ru metal particles. In addition, the degradation reaction as a side-reaction to C1 and C2 compounds of glycerol hydrogenolysis was more structure-sensitive than the hydrogenolysis reaction, and the selectivity of hydrogenolysis was lower on smaller Ru particles. The combination of Ru/C with the Amberlyst resin enhanced the turnover frequency of 1,2-propanediol formation drastically, and this indicates that 1,2-propanediol can be formed mainly by dehydration of glycerol to acetol catalyzed by Amberlyst and subsequent hydrogenation of acetol to 1,2-propanediol catalyzed by Ru/C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-251
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Catalysis A: General
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Feb 20
Externally publishedYes


  • Glycerol
  • Hydrogenolysis
  • Ion-exchange resin
  • Propanediol
  • Ruthenium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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