Abstract by Jacob Davis
Chemistry and Biochemistry
FTIR Measurements of Glycerol Reactions
With the movement to green chemistry, glycerol has become a very important solvent. It is especially interesting because it can be used as a source of hydrogens in oxidation/reduction reactions. A particularly interesting reaction uses ammonium heptamolybdate (AHM) as a catalyst to react pyridine-N-oxide to form pyridine. While the reaction has been studied from a synthetic standpoint, little is known about the kinetics or mechanism of the reaction. Knowledge of the mechanism is key to optimizing this reaction, and to extending it to similar systems. We have used FTIR spectroscopy to measure the rate of change in concentration of various reactants and products. We have done measurements over a 24 hour period and more recently built a setup for rapid measurement of the first minutes of the reaction.