Esterification of Levulinic Acid into Ethyl Levulinate Catalyzed by Sulfonated Bagasse-carbonized Solid Acid

Chenlu Liu, Kaili Zhang, Ying Liu, Shubin Wu


A sulfonic carbon-based catalyst (C-SO3H) was successfully prepared by sulfonating incompletely carbonized sugarcane bagasse. The optimized catalyst of high activity in the esterification of levulinic acid (LA) with ethanol was produced under sulfonation at 150 °C for 15 h with a 75 mL/g sulfonation ratio. The prepared catalysts were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and elemental analysis (EA). The bagasse-carbonized catalyst was porous, and the porous structure remained unchanged after sulfonation treatment. Moreover, the introduced acidic group was the catalytic center. A high yield of ethyl levulinate (ELA) of 88.2% was obtained at 120 °C for 9 h. The sulfonic carbon-based catalyst could be reused at least five times and still exhibited great stability. The application of the sulfonic carbon-based catalyst was not only the effective use of biomass resources


Sugarcane bagasse; Sulfonation; Levulinic acid; Esterification

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