Cobalt oxide promoted tin oxide catalysts for highly selective glycerol acetalization reaction

Semakaleng Bewana, Matumuene Joe Ndolomingo, Reinout Meijboom, Ndzondelelo Bingwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The excessive production of glycerol as a by-product in the biodiesel industry increased environmental problems due to issues related to storage and waste management. Therefore, the catalytic conversion of glycerol into value-added chemicals is of great interest. Using heterogeneous catalysis, we investigated the selective acetalization of glycerol to solketal (C6H12O3), an additive used in fuel production, using acetone in the presence of bimetallic oxide catalysts (Co3O4/SnO2). The catalytic materials were fully characterized using physical and chemical techniques such as nitrogen sorption (BET), power X-ray diffraction, (p-XRD), temperature-programmed desorption, (TPD-CO2 and TPD-NH3), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). An attempt to correlate the acidic sites to the catalyst activity was not successful. However, it is important to note that, the reaction gave conversions greater than 90% and maximum selectivity to the formation of the solketal. Optimum conditions were investigated and showed the most active catalyst to be Co3O4/SnO2 (75:25) with conversion above 90%. Catalyst stability evaluations showed that Co3O4/SnO2 (50:50) is very stable and can be recycled up to 6 catalytic cycles with minor catalyst loss.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108578
JournalInorganic Chemistry Communication
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Glycerol acetalization
  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Kinetics
  • Mass-transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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