Selective oxidation of glycerol-by-photo-electrolysis

BSc or MSc assignment

Selective oxidation of glycerol by photo-electrolysis

Carbonyl compounds (ketones and aldehydes) are precursors for many drugs, vitamins and fragrances and are important intermediates in many complex syntheses. Unfortunately, partial oxidation (e.g. of alcohols) is a demanding chemical transformation as complete oxidation to inherently stable CO2 is favorable.

Semiconductor-based photocatalysis is mainly employed for unselective oxidation reactions in environmental purification, e.g. for the degradation of impurities in water. In recent years, the application of semiconductor photocatalysis for organic synthesis has also attracted much attention. In a semiconductor-driven photocatalytic oxidation reaction, abundant and harmless reactants, such as molecular oxygen (O2) and water (H2O) are efficient oxidants. Metal-modified WO3 and Bi2WO6 have been mainly demonstrated to be suitable photocatalysts for oxidation of water to form oxygen.

In this assignment visible light-driven metal-modified (Pt, Pd, Ni…) photocatalysts (e.g. WO3 or Bi2WO6) will be prepared and tested in selective oxidation reactions, mainly focusing on the effect of different metals on the selectivity in aqueous phase oxidation reactions, such as oxidation of glycerol into value-added oxygenated chemicals.