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Catalysts 2018, 8(7), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8070264

Acid–Base Bifunctional Hf Nanohybrids Enable High Selectivity in the Catalytic Conversion of Ethyl Levulinate to γ-Valerolactone

State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Green Pesticide & Agricultural Bioengineering, Key Laboratory of Green Pesticide & Agricultural Bioengineering, Ministry of Education, State-Local Joint Laboratory for Comprehensive Utilization of Biomass, Center for Research & Development of Fine Chemicals, Guizhou University, Guiyang, Guizhou 550025, China
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Received: 26 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 29 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solid Catalysts for the Upgrading of Renewable Sources)
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Abstract

The catalytic upgrading of bio-based platform molecules is a promising approach for biomass valorization. However, most solid catalysts are not thermally or chemically stable, and are difficult to prepare. In this study, a stable organic phosphonate–hafnium solid catalyst (PPOA–Hf) was synthesized, and acid–base bifunctional sites were found to play a cooperative role in the cascade transfer hydrogenation and cyclization of ethyl levulinate (EL) to γ-valerolactone (GVL). Under relatively mild reaction conditions of 160 °C for 6 h, EL was completely converted to GVL with a good yield of 85%. The apparent activation energy was calculated to be 53 kJ/mol, which was lower than other solid catalysts for the same reaction. In addition, the PPOA-Hf solid catalyst did not significantly decrease its activity after five recycles, and no evident leaching of Hf was observed, indicating its high stability and potential practical application. View Full-Text
Keywords: heterogeneous catalysis; transfer hydrogenation; biomass conversion; biofuels; catalytic materials heterogeneous catalysis; transfer hydrogenation; biomass conversion; biofuels; catalytic materials
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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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Wu, W.; Li, Y.; Li, H.; Zhao, W.; Yang, S. Acid–Base Bifunctional Hf Nanohybrids Enable High Selectivity in the Catalytic Conversion of Ethyl Levulinate to γ-Valerolactone. Catalysts 2018, 8, 264.

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