Project Details

Glycerol is a waste product from biodiesel production (about 10% by weight) and constitutes an ideal target for renewable and sustainable C3 feedstocks. Opportunities exist to convert the large and increasing amount of glycerol waste to value-added commodity chemicals. We have developed homogeneous catalysts that transform glycerol to 1,3-propanediol and 1-propanol. 1,3-Propanediol is particularly valuable because it is used as a monomer in the manufacturing of polymers such as Sorona®. The development of supported catalysts presents additional opportunities in selective deoxygenation of glycerol and recycling possibilities.

Senior Investigators 

Selective Deoxygenation of Glycerol Process

Recent Publications and Patents

  • Goldberg, J. M.; Wong, G. W.; Brastow, K. E.; Kaminsky, W.; Goldberg, K. I.; Heinekey, D. M. "The Importance of Steric Factors in Iridium Pincer Complexes", Organometallics, 2015, 34, 753-762.
    (DOI: 10.1021/om501166w)
  • Lao, D. B.; Owens, A. C. E.; Heinekey, D. M.; Goldberg, K. I. "Partial Deoxygenation of Glycerol Catalyzed by Iridium Pincer Complexes", ACS Catal., 2013, 3, 2391-2396. (DOI: 10.1021/cs400551g)
  • Goldberg, K. I.; Heinekey, D. M.; Weliange, N. M.; Ahmed, T. J.; Camp, E. R.; Wong, G.; Lao, D.; "Methods for selective removal of hydroxyls from polyols", PCT Int. Appl. 2013, WO 2013130972 A1 20130906.
  • Ahmed Foskey, T. J.; Heinekey, D. M.; Goldberg, K. I. "Partial Deoxygenation of 1,2 Propanediol Catalyzed by Iridium Pincer Complexes," ACS Catal., 2012, 2, 1285-1289. (DOI: 10.1021/cs300120d)