Alkyl levulinates (ALs) represent outstanding bio-fuels and strategic bio-products within the context of the marketing of levulinic acid derivatives. However, their synthesis by acid-catalyzed esterification of pure levulinic acid, or by acid-catalyzed alcoholysis of furfuryl alcohol, although relatively simple, is still economically disadvantageous, due to the high costs of the pure precursors. The direct one-pot alcoholysis of model C6 carbohydrates and raw biomass represents an alternative approach for the one-step synthesis of ALs. In order to promote the market for these bio-products and, concurrently, the immediate development of new applications, it is necessary to speed up the intensification of their production processes, and this important achievement is onlypossible by using low-cost or, even better, waste biomasses, as starting feedstocks. This review provides an overview of the most recent and promising advances on the one-pot production of ALs from model C6 carbohydrates and real biomasses, in the presence of homogeneous or heterogeneous acid catalysts. The use of model C6 carbohydrates allows for the identification of the best obtainable ALs yields, resulting in being strategic for the development of new smart catalysts, whose chemical properties must be properly tuned, taking into account the involved reaction mechanism. On the other hand, the transition to the real biomass now represents a necessary choice for allowing the next ALs production on a larger scale. The improvement of the available synthetic strategies, the use of raw materials and the development of new applications for ALs will contribute to develop more intensified, greener, and sustainable processes.

Direct alcoholysis of carbohydrate precursors and real cellulosic biomasses to alkyl levulinates: A critical review

Raspolli Galletti A. M.
Primo
;
Antonetti C.;Fulignati S.;Licursi D.
Ultimo
2020-01-01

Abstract

Alkyl levulinates (ALs) represent outstanding bio-fuels and strategic bio-products within the context of the marketing of levulinic acid derivatives. However, their synthesis by acid-catalyzed esterification of pure levulinic acid, or by acid-catalyzed alcoholysis of furfuryl alcohol, although relatively simple, is still economically disadvantageous, due to the high costs of the pure precursors. The direct one-pot alcoholysis of model C6 carbohydrates and raw biomass represents an alternative approach for the one-step synthesis of ALs. In order to promote the market for these bio-products and, concurrently, the immediate development of new applications, it is necessary to speed up the intensification of their production processes, and this important achievement is onlypossible by using low-cost or, even better, waste biomasses, as starting feedstocks. This review provides an overview of the most recent and promising advances on the one-pot production of ALs from model C6 carbohydrates and real biomasses, in the presence of homogeneous or heterogeneous acid catalysts. The use of model C6 carbohydrates allows for the identification of the best obtainable ALs yields, resulting in being strategic for the development of new smart catalysts, whose chemical properties must be properly tuned, taking into account the involved reaction mechanism. On the other hand, the transition to the real biomass now represents a necessary choice for allowing the next ALs production on a larger scale. The improvement of the available synthetic strategies, the use of raw materials and the development of new applications for ALs will contribute to develop more intensified, greener, and sustainable processes.
2020
Raspolli Galletti, A. M.; Antonetti, C.; Fulignati, S.; Licursi, D.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1062782
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