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Issue 10, 2013
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Catalytic conversion of biomass-derived levulinic acid to valerate esters as oxygenated fuels using supported ruthenium catalysts

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Abstract

The development of the catalytic conversion of biomass-based platform molecules into oxygenated fuel molecules is of great significance in order to reduce the dependence on fossil resources and to solve environmental problems. Alkyl valerate esters were proven to have the potential to be renewable additives of gasoline and diesel. In this work, we studied the hydrogenation of levulinic acid (LA) to valerate esters over supported Ru catalysts, and found that the acidity was an important factor for the catalyst performance. A bifunctional catalyst Ru/SBA-SO3H was developed as an active catalyst, and a highest yield of 94% to ethyl valerate (EV) was achieved. The catalyst was characterized by nitrogen adsorption/desorption methods, X-ray power diffraction (XRD), transmission electron spectroscopy (TEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The effects of reaction conditions were comprehensively investigated and probable reaction pathways were proposed and verified. The conversion of LA to various alkyl valerate esters can also be catalyzed by the bifunctional catalyst. In addition, supported Cu and Ni catalysts were also screened under similar reaction conditions as Ru-based catalysts, and the combination of Ni/SBA-15 and SBA-SO3H exhibited activity for the conversion of LA to EV.

Graphical abstract: Catalytic conversion of biomass-derived levulinic acid to valerate esters as oxygenated fuels using supported ruthenium catalysts

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
18 May 2013
Accepted
13 Aug 2013
First published
13 Aug 2013

Green Chem., 2013,15, 2967-2974
Article type
Paper

Catalytic conversion of biomass-derived levulinic acid to valerate esters as oxygenated fuels using supported ruthenium catalysts

T. Pan, J. Deng, Q. Xu, Y. Xu, Q. Guo and Y. Fu, Green Chem., 2013, 15, 2967
DOI: 10.1039/C3GC40927A

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