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Catalysts 2016, 6(12), 196; doi:10.3390/catal6120196

New Frontiers in the Catalytic Synthesis of Levulinic Acid: From Sugars to Raw and Waste Biomass as Starting Feedstock

Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, University of Pisa, Via G. Moruzzi, 13, 56124 Pisa, Italy
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Academic Editor: Keith Hohn
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 18 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
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Abstract

Levulinic acid (LA) is one of the top bio-based platform molecules that can be converted into many valuable chemicals. It can be produced by acid catalysis from renewable resources, such as sugars, lignocellulosic biomass and waste materials, attractive candidates due to their abundance and environmentally benign nature. The LA transition from niche product to mass-produced chemical, however, requires its production from sustainable biomass feedstocks at low costs, adopting environment-friendly techniques. This review is an up-to-date discussion of the literature on the several catalytic systems that have been developed to produce LA from the different substrates. Special attention has been paid to the recent advancements on starting materials, moving from simple sugars to raw and waste biomasses. This aspect is of paramount importance from a sustainability point of view, transforming wastes needing to be disposed into starting materials for value-added products. This review also discusses the strategies to exploit the solid residues always obtained in the LA production processes, in order to attain a circular economy approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: levulinic acid; acid catalysts; sugars; raw and waste biomass; water; organic solvents levulinic acid; acid catalysts; sugars; raw and waste biomass; water; organic solvents
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Antonetti, C.; Licursi, D.; Fulignati, S.; Valentini, G.; Raspolli Galletti, A.M. New Frontiers in the Catalytic Synthesis of Levulinic Acid: From Sugars to Raw and Waste Biomass as Starting Feedstock. Catalysts 2016, 6, 196.

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