A golden opportunity: A highly robust catalyst system consisting of gold nanoparticles supported on acid-tolerant ZrO2 promoted the conversion of biomass-derived levulinic acid (1) and formic acid (2) into γ-valerolactone without the use of an external H2 supply (see scheme, red). The Au/ZrO2 catalyst was also used for the direct one-pot synthesis of highly valuable pyrrolidone derivatives from 1, 2, and primary amines (see scheme, blue).
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