• alcohols;
  • biomass;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • nanoparticles;
  • X-ray absorption spectroscopy


Bimetallic Pt–Re nanoparticles supported on Norit carbon were effective at converting aqueous glycerol to 1,3 (34 %) and 1,2 (33 %) propanediol at 443 K under 4 MPa of H2. Results from X-ray absorption spectroscopy and analytical transmission electron microscopy confirmed that the nanoparticles were indeed bimetallic, with a particle size less than 2 nm in diameter. The Pt LIII near edge spectra indicated that the Pt was reduced to the metallic state by treatment in H2 at 473 K, but that a partial positive charge remained on the Re. These oxidized Re species could be associated with charged Re atoms dispersed on the carbon support because spillover of H atoms from Pt was required to reduce Re in the bimetallic particles.