Catalytic dehydration of levoglucosan to levoglucosenone using Brønsted solid acid catalysts in tetrahydrofuran
We studied the production of levoglucosenone (LGO) via levoglucosan (LGA) dehydration using Brønsted solid acid catalysts in tetrahydrofuran (THF). The use of propylsulfonic acid functionalized silica catalysts increased the production of LGO by a factor of two compared to the use of homogeneous acid catalysts. We obtained LGO selectivities of up to 59% at 100% LGA conversion using solid Brønsted acid catalysts. Water produced during the reaction promotes the solvation of the acid proton reducing the activity and the LGO production. Using solid acid catalysts functionalized with propylsulfonic acid reduces this effect. The hydrophilicity of the catalyst surface seems to have an effect on reducing the interaction of water with the acid site, improving the catalyst stability.