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Efficient Synergetic Combination of H-USY and SnO₂ for Direct Conversion of Glucose into Ethyl Levulinate (Biofuel Additive)

Heda, Jidnyasa, Niphadkar, Prashant, Bokade, Vijay
Energy & fuels 2019 v.33 no.3 pp. 2319-2327
acidity, biodiesel, catalysts, diesel engines, formic acid, glucose, glucosides, hydroxymethylfurfural, isomerization, levulinic acid, petroleum, reaction mechanisms, tin dioxide, titanium dioxide, zeolites, zirconium oxide
Ethyl levulinate (EL), a biofuel additive for petroleum and biodiesel can also be used as a 100% fuel to replace petroleum diesel with the existing diesel engine. The major problem to make the EL process economical is the lack of a proper conversion technology to convert C₆ sugars such as glucose with higher yield of EL as well as process which can tolerate higher glucose concentration to increase productivity. The present study highlighted the catalytic synthesis of EL from glucose over synergetic combination of zeolite H-USY and Lewis acidic catalysts such as Sn-beta, TiO₂, ZrO₂, and SnO₂. Because of the strong Lewis acidic nature and the subsequent enhancement in the isomerization rate from glucosides to fructosides, the synergetic combination of H-USY with SnO₂ showed higher EL yield than the combination with other Lewis acidic catalysts. So far, the highest EL yield of 81% from glucose (50 g/L) at 180 °C in 3 h was achieved over the optimal combination of 95% H-USY and 5% SnO₂ having strong/weak acidity and B/L ratios of 1.30 and 0.75, respectively. The study was further extended for establishing the proposed reaction mechanism without the formation of 5-hydroxymethyl furfural, levulinic acid, and formic acid which makes the overall process clean and green.