Interplay of Lewis and Brønsted Acid Sites in Zr-Based Metal-Organic Frameworks for Efficient Esterification of Biomass-Derived Levulinic Acid

Fenfen Wang, Zhijie Chen, Haoyuan Chen, Timothy A. Goetjen, Peng Li, Xingjie Wang, Selim Alayoglu, Kaikai Ma, Yongwei Chen, Tiejun Wang, Timur Islamoglu, Yanxiong Fang, Randall Q. Snurr, Omar K. Farha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the performance of UiO-66 and its Brønsted acid functionalized derivative, UiO-66-(COOH)2, as heterogeneous catalysts for levulinic acid esterification with ethanol. Importantly, compared with UiO-66, UiO-66-(COOH)2 displayed superior catalytic performance (up to 97.0 ± 1.1% yield of ethyl levulinate) attributed to the synergistic effect between Lewis acidic Zr clusters and Brønsted acidic -COOH groups. Furthermore, UiO-66-(COOH)2 was stable and reusable without an appreciable loss in catalytic activity for at least five consecutive cycles. This study demonstrates that the interplay of Brønsted and Lewis acid sites in zirconium metal-organic frameworks leads to more efficient catalytic conversion of a biomass feedstock to biofuel, and with further hypothesis driven research, additional materials that show promise as candidates for catalytic conversion of biomass feedstocks to biofuels and valuable chemicals can be developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32090-32096
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume11
Issue number35
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 4 2019

Keywords

  • esterification
  • ethyl levulinate
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • levulinic acid
  • metal-organic framework

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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