Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2015, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (5): 973-979.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201503171

• CATALYSIS AND SURFACE SCIENCE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Conversion of Cellulose to Butyl Levulinate in Bio-Butanol Medium Catalyzed by Acidic Ionic Liquids

MA Hao, LONG Jin-Xing, WANG Fu-Rong, WANG Le-Fu, LI Xue-Hui   

  1. School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, P. R. China
  • Received:2015-01-20 Revised:2015-03-16 Published:2015-05-08
  • Contact: LI Xue-Hui
  • Supported by:

    The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21336002, 21276094) and Doctoral Fund of Ministry of Education of China (20130172110043).


Butyl levulinate (BL) is one of the most important biochemicals derived from cellulose, and it is of particular interest in industrial applications. Efficient synthesis of BL from cellulose in bio-butanol (bio-BuOH) medium has been investigated in the presence of acidic SO3H-functionalized ionic liquid (SFIL) catalysts. The results showed that the acid strength of the SFILs, catalyst dosage, reaction temperature, reaction time, and solvent composition significantly affected the conversion of cellulose and the yield of the target products. Using the strongest acidic SFIL 1- (4-sulfobutyl)-3-methylimidazolium hydrosulfate ([C4H8SO3Hmim]HSO4) as the catalyst, 98.4% of cellulose could be converted into 31.1% of BL accompanied with 33.4%, 20.6%, and 23.8% of butyl formate (BF), water soluble products (WSPs), and biofuel (Biof), respectively, under the optimized conditions. This catalytic system was water-tolerant, and the addition of 0.2 mL water did not significantly decrease its ability for conversion of cellulose. Furthermore, this acidic SFIL catalyst could be recycled up to six consecutive times without loss of catalytic activity.

Key words: SO3H-functionalized ionic liquid, Cellulose, Butyl levulinate, Butyl formate, Biofuel


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