Type of publication: Article
Date: November 2015
Journal: Green Chemistry, 2015, DOI: 10.1039/C5GC02157J
Main partner: QUB and STUBA
Abstract: Combining whole cell biocatalysis and chemocatalysis in a single reaction sequence
avoids unnecessary separations, and the associated waste and energy consumption. Bacterial
fermentation has been employed to convert waste glycerol from biodiesel production into
1,3-propanediol. This 1,3-propanediol can be extracted selectively from the aqueous
fermentation broth using ionic liquids. 1,3-propanediol in ionic liquid solution was converted
to propionaldehyde by hydrogen transfer initiated dehydration (HTID) catalysed by a
Cp*IrCl2(NHC) (Cp* = pentamethylcyclopentadienyl; NHC = carbene ligand) complex. The
use of an ionic liquid solvent enabled the reaction to be performed under reduced pressure,
facilitating the isolation of the product, and improving the reaction selectivity. The Ir(III)
catalyst in ionic liquid was found to be highly recyclable.
The paper is available in the Royal Society of Chemistry website here.