Hydrogenation of lactic acid to 1,2-propanediol over Ru-based catalysts

K. Liu, X. Huang, E.A. Pidko, E.J.M. Hensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)


The catalytic hydrogenation of lactic acid to 1,2-propanediol with supported Ru catalysts in water was investigated. The influence of catalyst support (activated carbon, γ-Al2O3, SiO2, TiO2, and CeO2) and promoters (Pd, Au, Mo, Re, Sn) on the catalytic performance was evaluated. Catalytic tests revealed that TiO2 yields the best Ru catalysts. With a monometallic Ru/TiO2 catalyst, a 1,2-propanediol yield of 70 % at 79 % lactic acid conversion was achieved at 130 °C after 20 h reaction. Minor byproducts of the hydrogenation reaction were propionic acid, ethanol, 1-propanol, and 2-propanol. For the bimetallic catalysts, the addition of Pd and Au slightly enhanced the performance of Ru/TiO2, whereas the addition of common hydrogenation promoters such as Re, Mo, and Sn impaired the activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)810-817
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2018


  • alcohols
  • carboxylic acids
  • hydrogenation
  • ruthenium
  • supported catalysts


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