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Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis of Cellulose to Prepare Levoglucosenone Using Sulfated Zirconia

Authors

  • Zhi Wang,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Anhui Province Key Laboratory for Biomass Clean Energy, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026 (China), Fax: (+86) 551-360-6689
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  • Dr. Qiang Lu,

    1. National Engineering Laboratory for Biomass Power Generation Equipment, North China Electric Power University, Beijing, 102206 (China)
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  • Prof. Xi-Feng Zhu,

    1. Department of Chemistry, Anhui Province Key Laboratory for Biomass Clean Energy, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026 (China), Fax: (+86) 551-360-6689
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  • Prof. Ying Zhang

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, Anhui Province Key Laboratory for Biomass Clean Energy, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026 (China), Fax: (+86) 551-360-6689
    • Department of Chemistry, Anhui Province Key Laboratory for Biomass Clean Energy, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026 (China), Fax: (+86) 551-360-6689
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Abstract

Sulfated zirconia was employed as catalyst for fast pyrolysis of cellulose to prepare levoglucosenone (LGO), a very important anhydrosugar for organic synthesis. The yield and the selectivity of LGO were studied in a fixed-bed reactor at different temperatures and cellulose/catalyst mass ratios. The experiments of catalyst recycling were also carried out. The results displayed that from 290 to 400 °C, the liquid and solid accounted for more than 95 wt % of products, and the higher temperature led to more liquid and less solid products. The introduction of SO42−/ZrO2 could promote cellulose conversion and LGO production. The temperature had a similar effect on the yield and selectivity of LGO at different cellulose/catalyst mass ratios. The maximum yield was obtained at 335 °C. Although the structure of the parent ZrO2 was retained after recycles, which was confirmed by X-ray diffraction and N2 adsorption–desorption measurements, the activity of SO42−/ZrO2 could only be partially recovered by simply calcination. The catalytic activity decrease could be mainly attributed to SO42− leaching, and the activity could be restored by further impregnation of H2SO4.

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