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Base-Free, One-Pot Chemocatalytic Conversion of Glycerol to Methyl Lactate using Supported Gold Catalysts

Authors

  • Rajeesh Kumar Pazhavelikkakath Purushothaman,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG, Groningen (The Netherlands), Fax: (+31) 50-363-4479
    2. Department of Sustainable Chemistry and Technology, Food and Biobased Research, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Bornseweilanden 9, 6700 AA, Wageningen, Wageningen (The Netherlands)
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  • Dr. Jacco van Haveren,

    1. Department of Sustainable Chemistry and Technology, Food and Biobased Research, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Bornseweilanden 9, 6700 AA, Wageningen, Wageningen (The Netherlands)
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  • Dr. Ignacio Melián-Cabrera,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG, Groningen (The Netherlands), Fax: (+31) 50-363-4479
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  • Dr. Ernst R. H. van Eck,

    1. Solid State NMR Facility for Advanced Materials Research, Institute for Molecules and Materials, Radboud University, Nijmegen (The Netherlands)
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  • Prof. Dr. Hero J. Heeres

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG, Groningen (The Netherlands), Fax: (+31) 50-363-4479
    • Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG, Groningen (The Netherlands), Fax: (+31) 50-363-4479===

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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.

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