Highly active catalytic Ru/TiO2 nanomaterials for continuous production of γ-valerolactone
Muñoz-Batista, Mario J.
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Green energy production from renewable sources is an attractive but challenging topic to face the likely energy crisis scenario in the future. In the current work, a series of versatile Ru/TiO2 catalysts were simply synthesized and employed in continuous flow catalytic transfer hydrogenation of industrially derived methyl levulinate biowaste (from Avantium Chemicals B.V.) to γ-valerolactone. Different analytical techniques were applied in the characterization of the as-synthesized catalysts, including XRD, SEM, EDX, TEM and XPS etc. The effects of various reaction conditions (e.g. temperature, concentration and flow rate) were investigated. Results suggested that optimum dispersion and distribution of Ru on the TiO2 surface could efficiently promote production of γ-valerolactone, with 5% Ru/TiO2 catalyst providing excelling catalytic performance and stability as compared to commercial Ru catalysts.