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Effective Upgrade of Levulinic Acid into γ‑Valerolactone over an Inexpensive and Magnetic Catalyst Derived from Hydrotalcite Precursor

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journal contribution
posted on 03.08.2015, 00:00 by Jun Zhang, Jinzhu Chen, Yuanyuan Guo, Limin Chen
A low-cost and magnetic catalyst derived from a hydrotalcite precursor was developed for selective hydrogenation of levulinic acid (LA) into γ-valerolactone (GVL) in a methanol solvent. An excellent GVL yield of 98.1% with full LA conversion was achieved at 415 K over a magnetic and recyclable Ni4.59Cu1Mg1.58Al1.96Fe0.70 catalyst. The specific textural and chemical characteristics of prepared samples were identified by ICP-AES, XRD, XPS, NH3-TPD, Py-IR, and nitrogen physisorption. Various parameters such as Ni/Cu molar ratio, reduction temperature, and reaction solvent played a great role in LA hydrogenation. The recycling experiments revealed that reactivated Ni4.59Cu1Mg1.58Al1.96Fe0.70 maintained excellent activity, stability, and magnetism after being used five times, which made Ni4.59Cu1Mg1.58Al1.96Fe0.70 a potential catalyst for the production of GVL in industry.