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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2016 Oct 10;55(42):13061-13066. doi: 10.1002/anie.201604108.

From Biomass-Derived Furans to Aromatics with Ethanol over Zeolite.

Author information

1
Wolfson Catalysis Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3QR, UK.
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15261, USA.
3
Department of Chemical Engineering, University College London, Torrington Place, London, WC1E 7JE, UK.
4
Diamond Light Source Ltd, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 0DE, UK.
5
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15261, USA. gmpourmp@pitt.edu.
6
Wolfson Catalysis Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3QR, UK. edman.tsang@chem.ox.ac.uk.

Abstract

We report a novel catalytic conversion of biomass-derived furans and alcohols to aromatics over zeolite catalysts. Aromatics are formed via Diels-Alder cycloaddition with ethylene, which is produced in situ from ethanol dehydration. The use of liquid ethanol instead of gaseous ethylene, as the source of dienophile in this one-pot synthesis, makes the aromatics production much simpler and renewable, circumventing the use of ethylene at high pressure. More importantly, both our experiments and theoretical studies demonstrate that the use of ethanol instead of ethylene, results in significantly higher rates and higher selectivity to aromatics, due to lower activation barriers over the solid acid sites. Synchrotron-diffraction experiments and proton-affinity calculations clearly suggest that a preferred protonation of ethanol over the furan is a key step facilitating the Diels-Alder and dehydration reactions in the acid sites of the zeolite.

KEYWORDS:

biomass; cycloaddition; ethanol; structure elucidation; zeolites

PMID:
27490584
DOI:
10.1002/anie.201604108

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