Hafnosilicate microspheres as effective catalysts for the conversion of dihydroxyacetone to ethyl lactate

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Transition-metal silicates are recognized as effective solid acid catalysts to produce value-added compounds from bio-based platform chemicals. One crucial feature in such catalytic transformations is the isomorphic substitution of transition metal into the tetrahedral coordination environment of SiO2 matrices. This substitution generates the acidic sites which represent the catalytically active sites. Herein, the preparation of hafnium-doped mesoporous SiO2 (hafnosilicates) is disclosed, and these materials are explored as catalysts for the efficient conversion of dihydroxyacetone (DHA) to ethyl lactate (EL). The one-step catalyst preparation is based on the aerosol-assisted sol-gel (AASG) process and leads to spherical mesoporous silicates with a homogeneous insertion of isolated Hf – as single sites into the SiO2 matrix, as indicated by XPS. These sites display high Lewis acidity (as evidenced by Pyridine-IR) and this translates into good catalytic performance. Moreover, pH adjustment via the controlled addition of triethanolamine before the aerosol process is shown as a practical way to improve the textural properties, the degree of Hf insertion into the SiO2 matrix (Lewis acidity), and therefore the catalytic activity. Under optimized reaction conditions (5 mL of 0.4 M DHA, 140 °C, 6 h, 200 mg of catalyst), complete conversion of DHA to EL was observed with a yield higher than 45%.

langue originaleAnglais
Numéro d'article114575
journalCatalysis Today
Les DOIs
Etat de la publicationPublié - 15 avr. 2024

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