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

Molecules. 2022 Aug 24;27(17):5383. doi: 10.3390/molecules27175383.


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.

Keywords: gas-phase hydrogenation; levulinic acid; lignocellulosic biomass; mesoporous silica composites; solid state NMR; γ-valerolactone.

MeSH terms

  • Hydrogenation
  • Lactones
  • Levulinic Acids* / chemistry
  • Silicon Dioxide* / chemistry


  • Lactones
  • Levulinic Acids
  • Silicon Dioxide
  • gamma-valerolactone
  • levulinic acid