Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 220–226 | Cite as

Molecularly imprinted photocatalyst for glyceraldehyde production

  • Cícero Coelho de EscobarEmail author
  • Marla Azário Lansarin
  • João Henrique Zimnoch dos Santos
  • Milena Duarte Brandestini
Original Paper: Sol-gel and hybrid materials for catalytic, photoelectrochemical and sensor applications


In this work, a ZnO-based molecularly imprinted photocatalyst (MIP) bearing acid Lewis sites (Al) was evaluated for photocatalytic oxidation of glycerol. The MIP was characterized by porosimetry using nitrogen adsorption/desorption, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Characterization provided evidence of the presence of zincide crystalline phase and Al–O–Si bonds. Experiments were carried out in a batch reactor (slurry) under UV radiation. The oxidation products were analysed by HPLC. Until 1 h of reaction under UV-light, the molar fraction of glyceraldehyde (GAD) was 4.5% with formation of minor subproducts (carboxylic acid). Compared to the control samples (NIP), the presence of imprinted sites has enhanced the GAD production. The MIP was shown to be highly selective for glyceraldehyde until 1 h of reaction, since no other degradation products, such as glycolaldehyde and 1,3-dihydroxyacetone, were produced.

Graphical abstract shows glyceraldehyde (GAD) and 1,2-dihydroxycetone DHA molar fraction obtained from glycerol oxidation using Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (MIP).


  • ZnO-based molecularly imprinted photocatalyst was studied for photocatalytic oxidation of glycerol.

  • Experiments were carried out in a batch reactor (slurry) under UV radiation.

  • The photocatalyt was shown to be highly selective for glyceraldehyde (GAD).

  • Compared to the control samples, the presence of imprinted sites has enhanced the GAD production.


Glyceraldehyde, Molecularly imprinted material Photocatalyst Zinc oxide 



The present work was carried out with the support of CNPq, Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological (150561/2016-4).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Engenharia QuímicaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul Rua Eng. Luis Englert s/nPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de QuímicaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500Porto AlegreBrazil

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