Transfer hydrogenation of methyl levulinate with methanol to gamma valerolactone over Cu-ZrO2: A sustainable approach to liquid fuels

Mark Douthwaite, Bin Zhang, Sarwat Iqbal, Peter J. Miedziak, Jonathan K. Bartley, David J. Willock, Graham J. Hutchings

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Abstract

Cu-ZrO2 is demonstrated to be a highly effective catalyst for the transfer hydrogenation of methyl levulinate to γ-valerolactone, using methanol as the hydrogen donor. The emergence of several new strategies for synthesising green methanol, underlines its potential as a sustainable hydrogen source for such transformations. Transfer hydrogenation of methyl levulinate over Cu-ZrO2 was determined to proceed through a two-step ‘hydrogen borrowing’ process. The first step involves methanol dehydrogenation (rate limiting) and the second, levulinate reduction. This proof-of-concept study demonstrates that methanol can be used effectively as a hydrogen source for such transformations when a suitable catalyst is employed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106430
Number of pages5
JournalCatalysis Communications
Volume164
Early online date15 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Biomass
  • Cu-ZrO
  • Green methanol
  • Sustainable fuel
  • Transfer hydrogenation

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