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Keywords:

  • biomass;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • Lewis acids;
  • tin;
  • zeolites
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Zeozymes: Sn-Beta zeolite is found to be a highly active catalyst for the conversion of triose sugars. If the solvent is water, isomerization of the triose sugars takes place to form lactic acid in 90 % yield at 125 °C. If methanol is used as the solvent, an overall isomerization–esterification reaction takes place and methyl lactate is formed in quantitative yields at 80 °C. This represents one of the most selective zeolite-catalyzed biomass transformation reactions.