Hydrodeoxygenation of Levulinic Acid to γ-Valerolactone over Mesoporous Silica-Supported Cu-Ni Composite Catalysts

Margarita Popova, Ivalina Trendafilova, Manuela Oykova, Yavor Mitrev, Pavleta Shestakova, Magdolna R. Mihályi, Ágnes Szegedi

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Monometallic (Cu, Ni) and bimetallic (Cu-Ni) catalysts supported on KIT-6 based mesoporous silica/zeolite composites were prepared using the wet impregnation method. The catalysts were characterized using X-ray powder diffraction, N2 physisorption, SEM, solid state NMR and H2-TPR methods. Finely dispersed NiO and CuO were detected after the decomposition of impregnating salt on the silica carrier. The formation of small fractions of ionic Ni2+ and/or Cu2+ species, interacting strongly with the silica supports, was found. The catalysts were studied in the gas-phase upgrading of lignocellulosic biomass-derived levulinic acid (LA) to γ-valerolactone (GVL). The bimetallic, CuNi-KIT-6 catalyst showed 100% LA conversion at 250 °C and atmospheric pressure. The high LA conversion and GVL yield can be attributed to the high specific surface area and finely dispersed Cu-Ni species in the catalyst. Furthermore, the catalyst also exhibited high stability after 24 h of reaction time with a GVL yield above 80% without any significant change in metal dispersion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5383
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • gas-phase hydrogenation
  • levulinic acid
  • lignocellulosic biomass
  • mesoporous silica composites
  • solid state NMR
  • γ-valerolactone


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