Catalytic Upgrading of Biomass-Derived Furfuryl Alcohol to Butyl Levulinate Biofuel over Common Metal Salts

Lincai Peng, Ruili Tao, Yu Wu
2016 Catalysts  
Levulinate ester has been identified as a promising renewable fuel additive and platform chemical. Here, the use of a wide range of common metal salts as acid catalysts for catalytic upgrading of biomass-derived furfuryl alcohol to butyl levulinate was explored by conventional heating. Both alkali and alkaline earth metal chlorides did not lead effectively to the conversion of furfuryl alcohol, while several transition metal chlorides (CrCl 3 , FeCl 3 , and CuCl 2 ) and AlCl 3 exhibited
more » ... 3 exhibited catalytic activity for the synthesis of butyl levulinate. For their sulfates (Cr(III), Fe(III), Cu(II), and Al(III)), the catalytic activity was low. The reaction performance was correlated with the Brønsted acidity of the reaction system derived from the hydrolysis/alcoholysis of cations, but was more dependent on the Lewis acidity from the metal salts. Among these investigated metal salts, CuCl 2 was found to be uniquely effective, leading to the conversion of furfuryl alcohol to butyl levulinate with an optimized yield of 95%. Moreover, CuCl 2 could be recovered efficiently from the resulting reaction mixture and remained with almost unchanged catalytic activity in multiple recycling runs.
doi:10.3390/catal6090143 fatcat:gqnzpzqjl5ds7hnfy2b6zgieg4