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Keywords:

  • gold;
  • green chemistry;
  • heterogeneous catalysts;
  • nanoparticles;
  • zeolites

Abstract

We report an efficient one-pot conversion of glycerol (GLY) to methyl lactate (MLACT) in methanol in good yields (73 % at 95 % GLY conversion) by using Au nanoparticles on commercially available ultra-stable zeolite-Y (USY) as the catalyst (160 °C, air, 47 bar pressure, 0.25 M GLY, GLY-to-Au mol ratio of 1407, 10 h). The best results were obtained with zeolite USY-600, a catalyst that has both Lewis and Brønsted sites. This methodology provides a direct chemo-catalytic route for the synthesis of MLACT from GLY. MLACT is stable under the reaction conditions, and the Au/USY catalyst was recycled without a decrease in the activity and selectivity.