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Keywords:

  • alcohols;
  • biomass;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • solvolysis;
  • sustainable chemistry

Abstract

A clean, facile, and environment-friendly catalytic method has been developed for the conversion of furfuryl alcohol into alkyl levulinates making use of the novel solid catalyst methylimidazolebutylsulfate phosphotungstate ([MIMBS]3PW12O40). The solid catalyst is an organic–inorganic hybrid material, which consists of an organic cation and an inorganic anion. A study for optimizing the reaction conditions such as the reaction time, the temperature and the catalyst loading has been performed. Under optimal conditions, a high n-butyl levulinate yield of up to 93 % is obtained. Furthermore, the kinetics of the reaction pathways and the mechanism for the alcoholysis of furfuryl alcohol are discussed. This method is environmentally benign and economical for the conversion of biomass-based derivatives into fine chemicals.