Liquid phase catalytic transfer hydrogenation of ethyl levulinate to γ-valerolactone over ZrO2/SBA-15


γ-Valerolactone (GVL) is an important bio-derived platform molecule whose atom- and energy efficient, and scalable, catalytic synthesis is highly desirable. Catalytic transfer hydrogenation (CTH) of ethyl levulinate (EL) to γ-valerolactone (GVL) has been selectively performed in batch and continuous flow over ZrO2/SBA-15 solid acid catalysts. Tuning the zirconia adlayer delivered maximum CTH activity for 11.6 wt% Zr, ascribed to the optimal ratio of Lewis and Brønsted acid sites for the two-step cascade reaction. EL conversion almost doubled under flow versus batch operation, accompanied by a small rise in selectivity to GVL, tripling average GVL productivity in continuous flow (5.2 vs. 1.37 mmol g−1 h−1). Turnover frequency (TOF) is significantly improved under flow conditions (14.5 h−1) relative to batch (3.6 h−1), demonstrating the utility of flow chemistry for accelerating the manufacture of valuable bio-derived molecules.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)
Additional Information: © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2022
Publication ISSN: 2044-4761
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2024 07:10
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2022 13:58
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: ... 2/CY/D2CY00538G (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-07-26
Published Online Date: 2022-07-26
Accepted Date: 2022-07-24
Submitted Date: 2022-03-21
Authors: Osatiashtiani, Amin (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-1334-127X)
Orr, Samantha A.
Durndell, Lee J.
Collado García, Irene
Merenda, Andrea
Lee, Adam F.
Wilson, Karen



Version: Accepted Version

License: ["licenses_description_other" not defined]

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