Aquivion-based spray freeze-dried composite catalysts for the cascade conversion of furfural to γ-valerolactone

Allegri, Alessandro (2023) Aquivion-based spray freeze-dried composite catalysts for the cascade conversion of furfural to γ-valerolactone, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Chimica, 35 Ciclo.
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Furfural is one of the most promising biomass derived platform molecules. It is to this day produced in volumes above 300 ktons per year from the hydrolysis and dehydration of hemicellulose, one of the main components of lignocellulosic biomass. While the majority of the yearly production is destined to selective reduction to furfuryl alcohol for the production of furan resins, these molecules hold great potential for the production of more valuable chemicals, fuels, fuel additives and solvents. Among these products are alkyl levulinates and γ-valerolactone. To convert furfural to these target products, a cascade process involving Lewis acidity-catalysed reduction steps and Brønsted acidity-catalysed steps. In order to develop catalysts capable of promoting the one-pot domino reaction from furfural to γ-valerolactone, the two kinds of acidity must both be present. To this end, in this work, the spray freeze-drying technique is employed to combine the high activity and strong Brønsted acidity of Aquivion with the structural properties and Lewis acidity of different supporting metal oxide, forming composite catalysts. The flexibility of the spray freeze-drying technique and the modulable composition of the catalysts allowed a thorough study of the complex network of equilibria underlying the cascade reaction, while achieving high selectivities towards the final product.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Allegri, Alessandro
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Aquivion; Spray Freeze-Drying; Composite materials; Catalytic Transfer Hydrogenation; Furfural; GVL; Cascade Reaction
Data di discussione
6 Aprile 2023

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