Highly efficient conversion of terpenoid biomass to jet-fuel range cycloalkanes in a biphasic tandem catalytic process†
The demand for bio-jet fuels to reduce carbon emissions is increasing substantially in the aviation sector, while the scarcity of high-density jet fuel components limits the use of bio-jet fuels in high-performance aircrafts compared with conventional jet fuels. Herein, we report a novel biphasic tandem catalytic process (biTCP) for synthesizing cycloalkanes from renewable terpenoid biomass, such as 1,8-cineole. Multistep tandem reactions, including C–O ring opening by hydrolysis, dehydration, and hydrogenation, were carried out in the “one-pot” biTCP. 1,8-Cineole was efficiently converted to p-menthane at high yields (>99%) in the biTCP under mild reaction conditions. The catalytic reaction mechanism is discussed.