This project aims to study and understand the mechanism of the electrocatalytic conversion of glycerol into more valuable commercial compounds. The issue is focused indirectly on the production of biodiesel in the Brazilian energy matrix. The glycerol, as byproduct in the biodiesel production, has led to a significant increase in the supply of this compound in domestic industrial market and hence a drop in the price traded. Thus, we seek in this project, with the aid of electrocatalysis, an alternative way of transforming glycerol into more valuable compounds, such as: glycolic, tartronic acid, glyceraldehyde, oxalic acid, dihydroxyacetone. However, very little is known about the conditions in which they can act with selectivity for the production of one or more products mentioned above. Thus, in this project we propose to work with silver electrocatalysts and identify, by means of High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), the products yielded during the electrooxidation reaction. The set of the results achieved will provide us knowledge to propose suitable routes and understand the minimum conditions for the selective production of compounds from glycerol.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: