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A simple and efficient conversion of cellulose to γ-valerolactone through integrated alcoholysis/transfer hydrogenation system using Ru and aluminum sulfate catalysts

Abstract

Direct conversion of cellulose to specific chemicals represents an important but challenging area that attracts much attention. In this study, we reported, for the first time, a one-step conversion of cellulose to γ-valerolactone (GVL), a platform molecule with multiple applications, by integrating the alcoholysis and transfer hydrogenation systems over mixed metal salt and Ru catalysts without external hydrogenation. A maximum GVL yield of 51.2% can be obtained at 180 oC for 70 min of reaction time with microwave heating. Metal salt effectively catalyzed cellulose alcoholysis to generate levulinate in isopropanol, which was also the hydrogen-donor for the subsequent catalytic transfer hydrogenation of levuliante to GVL over Ru/ZrO2 catalyst. It was found that the types of metal center and support material had a significant influence on the reactivity of catalyst for catalytic transfer hydrogenation (CTH) reaction, concerning to the existence of sulfuric acid species and water in the reaction system. Microwave heating was demonstrated as an effective method for cellulose-to-GVL conversion as compared to conventional oil heating, by drastically reducing the reaction time and avoiding the much decomposition of the reagents. The catalysts were successfully recycled and reused with high reactivity. Finally, the system was also applied to the synthesis of GVL from real biomass, demonstrating the high applicability and potential of the catalytic system for industrial production.

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Sep 2018, accepted on 03 Nov 2018 and first published on 05 Nov 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8CY01971A
Citation: Catal. Sci. Technol., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    A simple and efficient conversion of cellulose to γ-valerolactone through integrated alcoholysis/transfer hydrogenation system using Ru and aluminum sulfate catalysts

    Y. Huang, T. Yang, Y. Luo, A. Liu, Y. Zhou, H. Pan and F. Wang, Catal. Sci. Technol., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8CY01971A

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