Conversion of Biomass-Derived Furfuryl Alcohol into Ethyl Levulinate Catalyzed by Solid Acid in Ethanol

Geng Zhao, Lei Hu, Yong Sun, Xianhai Zeng, Lu Lin


A green and efficient process was developed for the conversion of biomass-derived furfuryl alcohol to ethyl levulinate using eco-friendly solid acid catalysts (zeolites and sulfated oxides) in ethanol. Studies for optimizing the reaction conditions such as the substrate concentration, the reaction time, the temperature, and the catalyst loading dosage were performed. With SO42−/TiO2 as the catalyst, a high ethyl levulinate yield of 74.6 mol% was achieved using a catalyst load of 5 wt% at 398 K for 2.0 h. The catalyst recovered through calcination was found to maintain good catalytic activity (47.8 mol%) after three cycles, and it was easily reactivated by re-soaking in H2SO4 solution. Catalyst characterization was based on BET surface area, NH3-TPD, and elemental analysis techniques.


Furfuryl alcohol; Ethanol; Ethyl levulinate; Solid acid catalyst

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