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Support Screening Studies on the Hydrogenation of Levulinic Acid to γ-Valerolactone in Water Using Ru Catalysts

Chemical Engineering Department, Engineering and Technology Institute Groningen (ENTEG), University of Groningen, Nijenborg 4, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Albert Demonceau, Ileana Dragutan and Valerian Dragutan
Catalysts 2016, 6(9), 131;
Received: 21 June 2016 / Revised: 4 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 30 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ruthenium Catalysts)
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γ-Valerolactone (GVL) has been identified as a sustainable platform chemical for the production of carbon-based chemicals. Here we report a screening study on the hydrogenation of levulinic acid (LA) to GVL in water using a wide range of ruthenium supported catalysts in a batch set-up (1 wt. % Ru, 90 °C, 45 bar of H2, 2 wt. % catalyst on LA). Eight monometallic catalysts were tested on carbon based(C, carbon nanotubes (CNT)) and inorganic supports (Al2O3, SiO2, TiO2, ZrO2, Nb2O5 and Beta-12.5). The best result was found for Ru/Beta-12.5 with almost quantitative LA conversion (94%) and 66% of GVL yield after 2 h reaction. The remaining product was 4-hydroxypentanoic acid (4-HPA). Catalytic activity for a bimetallic RuPd/TiO2 catalyst was by far lower than for the monometallic Ru catalyst (9% conversion after 2 h). The effects of relevant catalyst properties (average Ru nanoparticle size, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area, micropore area and total acidity) on catalyst activity were assessed. View Full-Text
Keywords: levulinic acid hydrogenation; γ-valerolactone; Ru-catalysts levulinic acid hydrogenation; γ-valerolactone; Ru-catalysts

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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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Piskun, A.; Winkelman, J.G.M.; Tang, Z.; Heeres, H.J. Support Screening Studies on the Hydrogenation of Levulinic Acid to γ-Valerolactone in Water Using Ru Catalysts. Catalysts 2016, 6, 131.

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