Quantitative production of butenes from biomass-derived γ-valerolactone catalysed by hetero-atomic MFI zeolite

Longfei Lin, Alena M. Sheveleva, Ivan da Silva, Christopher M.A. Parlett, Zhimou Tang, Yueming Liu, Mengtian Fan, Xue Han, Joseph H. Carter, Floriana Tuna, Eric J.L. McInnes, Yongqiang Cheng, Luke L. Daemen, Svemir Rudić, Anibal J. Ramirez-Cuesta, Chiu C. Tang, Sihai Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The efficient production of light olefins from renewable biomass is a vital and challenging target to achieve future sustainable chemical processes. Here we report a hetero-atomic MFI-type zeolite (NbAlS-1), over which aqueous solutions of γ-valerolactone (GVL), obtained from biomass-derived carbohydrates, can be quantitatively converted into butenes with a yield of >99% at ambient pressure under continuous flow conditions. NbAlS-1 incorporates simultaneously niobium(v) and aluminium(iii) centres into the framework and thus has a desirable distribution of Lewis and Brønsted acid sites with optimal strength. Synchrotron X-ray diffraction and absorption spectroscopy show that there is cooperativity between Nb(v) and the Brønsted acid sites on the confined adsorption of GVL, whereas the catalytic mechanism for the conversion of the confined GVL into butenes is revealed by in situ inelastic neutron scattering, coupled with modelling. This study offers a prospect for the sustainable production of butene as a platform chemical for the manufacture of renewable materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-93
Number of pages8
JournalNature Materials
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • INELASTIC NEUTRON-SCATTERING
  • LEWIS-ACID SITES
  • NIOBIUM PHOSPHATE
  • SOLID ACID
  • CONVERSION
  • DECARBOXYLATION
  • DEHYDRATION
  • LOCATION
  • FRUCTOSE
  • ZSM-5

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