Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol.59, No.21, 9912-9925, 2020
Ultrafast Glycerol Conversion to Lactic Acid over Magnetically Recoverable Ni-NiOx@C Catalysts
Lactic acid (LA), a key platform chemical from biomass, is an ideal feedstock for biodegradable plastic synthesis. The conversion of glycerol to LA was investigated over graphiticcarbon-layer-encapsulated Ni-NiOx core/shell (Ni-NiOx@C) catalysts, which were prepared by controlled oxidation from pristine Ni@C. The oxidation temperature greatly influenced the percentage of NiOx and thus the amount of Lewis acid. In the conversion of glycerol, the catalyst oxidized at 200 degrees C provided hitherto the highest LA formation rate (5.67 mol/(m(3).g(cat).s)), which is at least 15 times faster than those obtained over the reported Cu and noble metal catalysts under comparable reaction conditions. The excellent performance of Ni-NiOx@C was attributed to the synergistic effect of the homogenous base, metallic Ni, and acidic NiOx sites, which accelerates the bond cleavage of alpha-C-H and C-O and promotes ultrafast formation of LA within 30 min.