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1. WO2011009936 - PROCESS FOR THE PREPARATION OF 1,2-PROPANEDIOL FROM GLYCEROL

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[ EN ]

Claims

1. A process for the preparation of 1 ,2-propandiol, at least comprising the following steps

a) providing a glycerol-containing stream comprising at least 40% by weight of at least one organic solvent and

b) subjecting the glycerol-containing stream of step a) to a hydrogenation in the presence of a copper-containing, heterogeneous catalyst at a pressure of at least 50 bar.

2. The process according to claim 1 , wherein in step a) a glycerol-containing stream obtained in the preparation of alkyl esters of higher fatty acids by transesterifica- tion of fatty acid triglycerides is provided.

3. The process according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the glycerol-containing stream that is provided in step a) comprises up to 20% by weight water, in respect of the whole glycerol-containing stream.

4. The process according to any of claims 1 to 3, wherein, in step a), the glycerol- containing stream is subjected to working-up by at least one working-up process which is selected from thermal working-up, adsorption, ion exchange, membrane separation, crystallization, extraction or a combination of two or more of these processes.

5. The process according to any of claims 1 to 4, wherein, in step a), the glycerol- containing stream is subjected to a distillation for reducing the water content and/or for removing components which adversely affect the catalytic hydrogena- tion.

6. The process according to any of claims 1 to 5, wherein, in step a), the glycerol- containing stream is subjected to catalytic desulphuration, if appropriate in the presence of hydrogen, for reducing the content of sulphur-containing compounds, especially sulphur-containing aromatic compounds.

7. The process according to any of claims 1 to 6, wherein the at least one organic solvent is selected from the group consisting of Ci-C8-hydrocarbons, dialkyl ethers with 2 to 8 carbon atoms, C-ι-C4-mono alcohols and mixtures thereof.

8. The process according to any of claims 1 to 7, wherein step a) comprises at least the following steps

a1 ) provision of a biogenic fat- and/or oil-containing starting mixture,

a2) transesterification of the fatty acid triglycerides present in the starting mixture with at least one d-Cg-monoalcohol and, if appropriate, esterification of the free fatty acids present in the starting mixture with formation of an es- terifiaction mixture,

a3) separation of the esterification mixture to obtain at least one fraction enriched with d-Cg-monoalkyl esters and at least one fraction enriched with glycerol liberated in the transesterification,

a4) if appropriate, purification of the fraction enriched with glycerol.

9. The process according to any of claims 1 to 8, wherein the hydrogenation catalyst used in step b) is a Raney-type catalyst.

10. The process according to any of claims 1 to 9, wherein the pressure in step b) is 50 to 300 bar.

1 1. The process according to any of claims 1 to 10, wherein the hydrogenation catalyst which is used in step b) comprises at least the following elements, each in oxidic form or in elemental form or in combination thereof

Cu,

Cu, Ti

Cu, Zr

Cu, Mn

- Cu, Al

Cu, Cr

Cu, Zn

Cu, Cr, Ba

Cu, Ni, Al

- Cu, Al, at least one further selected from the group consisting of La, W, Mo,

Mn, Zn, Ti, Zr, Sn, Ni and mixtures thereof

Co, Cu, Zn, Zr

Cu, Cr, Ca

Cu, Cr, C or

- Cu, Al, Mn, optionally Zr.