Ru catalysts for levulinic acid hydrogenation with formic acid as a hydrogen source†
The catalytic hydrogenation of levulinic acid (LA) with formic acid (FA) as a hydrogen source into γ-valerolactone (GVL) is considered as one of the crucial sustainable processes in today's biorefinery schemes. In the current work, we investigated the modification of Ru/C as efficient catalysts for both formic acid decomposition and levulinic acid hydrogenation in comparison with Pd and Pt catalysts. In order to better understand what features are responsible for high catalytic performance, we combined experimental tests, DFT calculations together with extensive material characterization. In LA hydrogenation with FA as a hydrogen source, the intermediate surface formate inhibits at least partially the LA hydrogenation. In addition, the FA decomposition is highly sensitive to the kind of the preparation method of the Ru/C catalyst: (i) the process looks structure sensitive favored on larger particles and (ii) residual chlorine decreases significantly the FA decomposition rate.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 3rd International Symposium on Green Chemistry