Highly Efficient Oxidation of Ethyl Lactate to Ethyl Pyruvate Catalyzed by TS‑1 Under Mild Conditions

Highly efficient oxidation of ethyl lactate (ELA) to ethyl pyruvate (EP) was realized over TS-1 in the presence of aqueous H2O2 (30 wt %) at low temperature without other solvent. A 100% ELA conversion and 97.8% EP yield were obtained at 50 °C after 9 h. The conversion rate of ELA is sensitive to the reaction temperature. High reaction temperature (70 °C) leads to an increase in conversion rate of ELA but causes the fast hydrolysis and decarboxylation of EP to form byproducts of acetic acid and CO2. On the basis of the characterization (pyridine-FTIR and UV–vis) and reaction results, active species of Ti­(OOH) were proven. In addition, a nonradical mechanism for conversion of ELA to EP for this catalytic system was proposed. By kinetic analysis, the formation of Ti­(OOH) is confirmed as the rate-determining step. The apparent activation energy (103.4 kJ mol–1) was also obtained. Furthermore, TS-1 was highly stable for the oxidation of ethyl lactate. There were almost no change in ELA conversion and EP yield throughout 10 reaction runs.