Cooperativity of Bronsted and Lewis acid sites on zeolite for glycerol dehydration

Zichun Wang, Leizhi Wang, Yijiao Jiang, Michael Hunger, Jun Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Selective dehydration of glycerol, a byproduct from the biodiesel industry, on solid acids is an important reaction in the production of the value-added chemical acrolein for economic-sustainable biorefinery. Most efforts have been made on the development of strong Brønsted acid sites (BAS) to improve the production of acrolein, because the Lewis acid sites (LAS) generally promote the generation of the byproduct acetol. However, exclusively tuning the properties of BAS or LAS did not well-promote the acrolein production from glycerol as indicated in this work. We provide a new route for efficient and selective glycerol transformation to acrolein via the cooperative dehydration between the BAS and LAS. The role of LAS (extra-framework aluminum species on zeolites) was altered from competition with BAS to generate the byproduct acetol to cooperation with the neighboring BAS. It is very beneficial for the sequential two-step dehydration of the internal and terminal hydroxyl groups of glycerol to value-added acrolein. This cooperativity of BAS and LAS significantly improved the yield of acrolein from the selective glycerol dehydration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1144-1147
Number of pages4
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Brønsted acid sites
  • Lewis acid sites
  • glycerol dehydration
  • solid-state NMR
  • zeolite H-ZSM-5


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