Conversion of Biomass-Derived Levulinate and Formate Esters into γ-Valerolactone over Supported Gold Catalysts

Authors

  • Xian-Long Du,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Catalysis and Innovative Materials, Fudan University, Handan Road 220, Shanghai 200433 (PR China), Fax: (+86) 21 65643774
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  • Qing-Yuan Bi,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Catalysis and Innovative Materials, Fudan University, Handan Road 220, Shanghai 200433 (PR China), Fax: (+86) 21 65643774
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  • Dr. Yong-Mei Liu,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Catalysis and Innovative Materials, Fudan University, Handan Road 220, Shanghai 200433 (PR China), Fax: (+86) 21 65643774
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  • Prof. Yong Cao,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry and Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Catalysis and Innovative Materials, Fudan University, Handan Road 220, Shanghai 200433 (PR China), Fax: (+86) 21 65643774
    • Department of Chemistry and Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Catalysis and Innovative Materials, Fudan University, Handan Road 220, Shanghai 200433 (PR China), Fax: (+86) 21 65643774
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  • Prof. Kang-Nian Fan

    1. Department of Chemistry and Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Catalysis and Innovative Materials, Fudan University, Handan Road 220, Shanghai 200433 (PR China), Fax: (+86) 21 65643774
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Abstract

The utilization of biomass has recently attracted tremendous attention as a potential alternative to petroleum for the production of liquid fuels and chemicals. We report an efficient alcohol-mediated reactive extraction strategy by which a hydrophobic mixture of butyl levulinate and formate esters, derived from cellulosic biomass, can be converted to valuable γ-valerolactone (GVL) by a simple supported gold catalyst system without need of an external hydrogen source. The essential role of the supported gold is to facilitate the rapid and selective decomposition of butyl formate to produce a hydrogen stream, which enables the highly effective reduction of butyl levulinate into GVL. This protocol simplifies the recovery and recycling of sulfuric acid, which is used for cellulose deconstruction.

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