One-pot synthesis of N-methylpyrrolidine (NMPD) using Cu- and Ni-modified ZSM-5 as an efficient catalyst†
In this study, a green, efficient and low-cost process for the synthesis of N-methylpyrrolidine (NMPD) from 1,4-butanediol (BDO) and methylamine (MA) via a one-pot method was developed. Under the optimized reaction conditions, more than 90% yield of NMPD was achieved over a Cu and Ni modified ZSM-5 catalyst. The catalyst could be reused for several runs retaining a satisfactory catalytic performance, and the scale-up operation showed the potential of industrial application. Characterizations of BET, XPS, XRD, TEM, SEM, H2-TPR and NH3-TPD were conducted for the developed composite catalyst, which suggested that Cu2O and NiO were the main species on the support. Meanwhile, it was found that the H2 atmosphere, the high dispersion of metal oxides and the synergic effect between Cu and Ni species on ZSM-5 contributed to the excellent catalytic performance. Furthermore, a possible mechanism based on a borrowing-hydrogen process was also proposed.