(113f) Domino Reaction for the Production of Gamma-Valerolactone Using Solid Bronsted and Lewis Acids

Luo, H., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Bui, L., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Development of more carbon-efficient and economically viable lignocellulosic biomass conversion technologies is critical for the sustainable production of liquid transportation fuels and chemicals. Development of water-tolerant catalysts or materials that can replace critical materials, such Pt, Pd, Re, and Ir, is a major technical challenge for the bio-refinery of the future.  Catalyst design is already playing a central role in creating a new paradigm in the transformation of biomass-derived oxygenates using earth-abundant materials. 

Pairing of zeolites featuring isolated Lewis and Brønsted acid sites enables multi-step reactions to be performed in a single reactor. We demonstrate an integrated catalytic process for the efficient production of GVL from Fur via sequential TH and hydrolysis reactions triggered by zeolites with Brønsted and Lewis acid sites. Under optimal reaction conditions a GVL yield of 78 mol% was obtained starting from a 5 wt% Fur solution. Effectively, this catalytic system offers an attractive streamlined strategy for the production of GVL from lignocellulosic biomass without the use of precious metals or high pressures of molecular H2.