Conversion of levulinic acid to levulinate ester biofuels by heterogeneous catalysts in the presence of acetals and ketals

Dawn Chaffey, Stuart H. Taylor, Thomas E. Davies, David C. Apperley, Takudzwa Bere, Andrew Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The esterification of levulinic acid under acidic conditions to produce levulinate esters is of current significant interest due to the potential of these compounds as fuels and fuel additives. While a number of bespoke heterogeneous catalysts have been reported to be effective for this transformation, the use of widely available commercial catalysts has generally proved to be ineffective, with only low conversions to ester products being achieved. Herein, we report a novel strategy for the efficient synthesis of levulinate esters from levulinic acid in the presence of trialkyl orthoformates or dialkyl acetals and ketals catalyzed by commercial catalysts, such as ZSM-5 and Amberlyst-15. These reactions proceed under mild conditions and in short reaction times to selectively produce high yields of levulinate esters.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120219
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Volume293
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Esterification
  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Levulinate esters
  • Bio-renewable fuel additives

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