Base-free, one-pot chemocatalytic conversion of glycerol to methyl lactate using supported gold catalysts

Rajeesh Kumar Pazhavelikkakath Purushothaman, Jacco van Haveren, Ignacio Melián-Cabrera, Ernst R.H. Van Eck, Hero J. Heeres*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We report an efficient one-pot conversion of glycerol (GLY) to methyl lactate (MLACT) in methanol in good yields (73 % at 95 % GLY conversion) by using Au nanoparticles on commercially available ultra-stable zeolite-Y (USY) as the catalyst (160 °C, air, 47 bar pressure, 0.25 M GLY, GLY-to-Au mol ratio of 1407, 10 h). The best results were obtained with zeolite USY-600, a catalyst that has both Lewis and Brønsted sites. This methodology provides a direct chemo-catalytic route for the synthesis of MLACT from GLY. MLACT is stable under the reaction conditions, and the Au/USY catalyst was recycled without a decrease in the activity and selectivity. From glycerol to green building blocks and solvents! An efficient, base-free conversion of glycerol to methyl lactate in methanol is reported, achieving good yields (73 % at 95 % glycerol conversion) using Au/ultra-stable zeolite-Y (USY) as the catalyst and environmentally benign oxygen as the oxidant by combining two separate reaction steps efficiently in a one pot procedure. The Au/USY catalyst can be recycled without a decrease in the activity and selectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1140-1147
Number of pages8
JournalChemSusChem
Volume7
Issue number4
Early online date5 Mar 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2014

Keywords

  • gold
  • green chemistry
  • heterogeneous catalysts
  • nanoparticles
  • zeolites

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    Kumar Pazhavelikkakath Purushothaman, R., van Haveren, J., Melián-Cabrera, I., Van Eck, E. R. H., & Heeres, H. J. (2014). Base-free, one-pot chemocatalytic conversion of glycerol to methyl lactate using supported gold catalysts. ChemSusChem, 7(4), 1140-1147. https://doi.org/10.1002/cssc.201301105