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

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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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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