Formic acid assisted hydrogenation of levulinic acid to γ-valerolactone over ordered mesoporous Cu/Fe2O3 catalyst prepared by hard template method
Vapor phase hydrogenation of levulinic acid using formic acid as a hydrogen source has been conducted over ordered mesoporous Cu/Fe2O3 catalysts prepared by hard template method using mesoporous silica, SBA-15. X-ray diffraction result reveals the absence of copper peaks because of either highly dispersed state, or formation of a solid solution with iron oxides. The N2 sorption analysis and TEM results indicate the retainment of mesoporous nature in the samples. Among the catalysts tested, 10 (wt%) Cu/Fe2O3 seems to be an efficient catalyst to yield higher amounts of γ-valerolactone under hydrogen-free conditions. The results reveal the formation of spinel species, which gets reduced easily at a lower temperature (as evidenced from TPR studies), and as a consequence of this synergism, significant improvement in the catalytic performance for the synthesis of γ-valerolactone from levulinic acid and formic acid in presence of water has been achieved. The presence of water plays a crucial role in obtaining a higher yield of γ-valerolactone. This makes the catalyticsystem a viable methodology for hydrogenation of levulinic acid to get γ-valerolactone.
Volume 134, 2022
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