Effect of alkaline catalysts on hydrothermal conversion of glycerin into lactic acid

Zheng Shen, Fangming Jin, Yalei Zhang, Bing Wu, Atsushi Kishita, Kazuyuki Tohji, Hisanori Kishida

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123 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrothermal treatment of glycerin was carried out at 300 °C by using eight alkaline catalysts, including hydroxides of alkali metals, alkaline-earth metals, and aluminum. All alkaline catalysts promoted the formation of lactic acid or lactate salts from glycerin, except for Al(OH)3. The alkali-metal hydroxides were more effective than alkaline-earth-metal hydroxides on the catalysis of hydrothermal reactions. On the hydrothermal conversion of glycerin into lactic acid, the catalytic effectiveness followed the sequence of KOH > NaOH > LiOH for alkali-metal hydroxides, and Ba(OH)2 > Sr(OH)2 > Ca(OH)2 > Mg(OH)2 for alkaline-earth hydroxides. An excellent lactic acid yield of 90% was attained on hydrothermal conversion of glycerin at 300 °C with KOH or NaOH as a catalyst. KOH was superior to NaOH as a catalyst since it worked at a lower concentration or within a shorter reaction time to obtain the same lactic acid yield. The hydrothermal conversion of glycerin depended not only on the hydroxide ion concentration but also on the metal ions of catalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8920-8925
Number of pages6
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Oct 7

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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