Not a chemist, but from a chemical formula perspective, how hard would it be to create acetone by acidifying glycerol?

$$\ce{C3H8O3 + 2 H+ <=> C3H6O + 2 H2O}$$

Has anyone ever heard of this being attempted? If it isn't possible, why?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You do know that charge is conserved? Dehydration of glycerol yields acrolein. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Apr 1 at 16:44
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Patent for forming acrolein by dehydration of glycerol patents.google.com/patent/US8378136B2/en $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Apr 1 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ Your equation is not valid, because it is not balanced. There are 2 positive charges on the left hand side, and none on the right hand side. $\endgroup$
    – Maurice
    Apr 1 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ The chemical formula doesn't tell you much that is useful for judging a reaction's feasibility. You need to look at the structure and plausible reaction mechanisms. In this case, a reaction giving acetone is not remotely likely. $\endgroup$
    – matt_black
    Apr 2 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. So to balance the equation neutral H2 would need to be substituted for the 2H+. And you point out also that the dehydration of glycerol results in acrolein or propenal in the above patent. A secondary reaction would then be needed to add H2 and produce propanal. How unlikely is the conservation of the C2 oxygen if you remove 2 out of the three from glycerol? I understand that it couldn't exist without H2 addition if you remove two H2O. $\endgroup$ Apr 2 at 17:33

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