Levulinic acid derived from ligno-cellulosic biomass has the potential to be utilized as a platform intermediate molecule in the production of renewable liquid fuels for the transportation sector. Herein we report a catalytic process for the conversion of levulinic acid to γ-valerolactone (GVL) using a RuRe/C catalyst that is significantly more active than a traditional Ru/C catalyst. The bimetallic catalyst is active for the reduction of levulinic acid and simultaneous decomposition of formic acid with good stability in the presence of sulfuric acid, the homogeneous catalyst commonly used in the production of levulinic acid from carbohydrates. Results from techno-economic analyses show that the integration of this new process with catalytic decarboxylation of GVL to butene followed by alkene oligomerization could provide a cost-effective route for the conversion of ligno-cellulosic biomass to liquid hydrocarbon fuels.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry