A variety of silica-supported metal oxide catalysts were prepared by the incipient wetness impregnation method and were used for the conversion of dihydroxyacetone to lactic acid. A titanium oxide catalyst with Brønsted acid sites was selective to an intermediate, pyruvaldehyde and a chromium oxide catalyst with Lewis acid sites was selective to lactic acid. The co-impregnation of chromium- and titanium oxides with different ratios accelerated the reaction rate and improved the lactic acid yield up to 80% at 130 °C. Pyridine-adsorbed Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy indicated that the silica-supported mixed oxides had both Brønsted acid and Lewis acid sites and the trend of the Lewis/Brønsted ratio was close to that of selectivity to lactic acid. Diffuse reflectance UV–vis spectroscopy showed that the silica-supported chromia-titania catalyst composed of isolated Cr and Ti species in tetrahedral coordination. Kinetic analysis revealed that the two critical rate constants, pyruvaldehyde formation and lactic acid formation, for the chromia-titania catalyst were much higher than those of the titania and chromia catalysts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Process Chemistry and Technology