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The Promoting Effect of Ce on the Performance of Au/CexZr1−xO2 for γ-Valerolactone Production from Biomass-Based Levulinic Acid and Formic Acid

Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Technology, Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2018, 8(6), 241;
Received: 28 April 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 2 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
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The production of γ-valerolactone (GVL) directly from biomass-based levulinic acid (LA) and formic acid (FA) without extra hydrogen source is attractive but challenging, due to the requirement of a highly active and stable catalyst. In present work, Au/CexZr1−xO2 with various Ce/Zr ratios were prepared as the catalyst for GVL production from LA with the equivalent molar FA, and characterized by XRD, Raman-spectra, BET, NH3-TPD, TEM and XPS. It was found that the doped Ce in Au/CexZr1−xO2 catalyst could improve the reduction of Au3+ to metallic Au0, and also promoted the dispersion of Au0, yielding uniform Au0 nanoparticles with a small average particle size of about 2.4 nm, thus enhancing both the decomposition of FA to CO-free H2 and the hydrogenation of LA. Meanwhile, a certain amount of doped Ce (x ≤ 0.4) could facilitate the formation of tetragonal phase (the most desired structure on LA conversion to GVL), and increase the amount of weak and medium-strength acidic sites of catalyst, thereby promoting the dehydration reaction of the intermediate derived from LA hydrogenation. Au/Ce0.4Zr0.6O2 catalyst exhibited the best catalytic activity, achieving 90.8% of LA conversion and 83.5% of GVL yield (TON = 2047.8), with good recyclability, and the activity showed no obvious change after 5 runs. View Full-Text
Keywords: levulinic acid; formic acid; γ-valerolactone; Au/CexZr1−xO2 levulinic acid; formic acid; γ-valerolactone; Au/CexZr1−xO2

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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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Li, X.; Li, J.; Liu, X.; Tian, Q.; Hu, C. The Promoting Effect of Ce on the Performance of Au/CexZr1−xO2 for γ-Valerolactone Production from Biomass-Based Levulinic Acid and Formic Acid. Catalysts 2018, 8, 241.

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