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Catalysts 2016, 6(9), 143; doi:10.3390/catal6090143

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

Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming 650500, China
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Academic Editor: Alina M. Balu
Received: 12 August 2016 / Revised: 4 September 2016 / Accepted: 13 September 2016 / Published: 15 September 2016
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Abstract

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 (CrCl3, FeCl3, and CuCl2) and AlCl3 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, CuCl2 was found to be uniquely effective, leading to the conversion of furfuryl alcohol to butyl levulinate with an optimized yield of 95%. Moreover, CuCl2 could be recovered efficiently from the resulting reaction mixture and remained with almost unchanged catalytic activity in multiple recycling runs. View Full-Text
Keywords: biofuel; furfuryl alcohol; catalytic upgrading; metal salt; levulinate ester biofuel; furfuryl alcohol; catalytic upgrading; metal salt; levulinate ester
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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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Peng, L.; Tao, R.; Wu, Y. Catalytic Upgrading of Biomass-Derived Furfuryl Alcohol to Butyl Levulinate Biofuel over Common Metal Salts. Catalysts 2016, 6, 143.

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