Selective hydrogenation of levoglucosenone over Pd/C using formic acid as a hydrogen source

Xin Huang, Tianlong Liu, Jingxian Wang, Fu Wei, Jingyu Ran, Shinji Kudo

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Selective hydrogenation of lignocellulosic biomass-derived chemicals is of great importance for future energy and chemical supply. So far formic acid is considered as one of the most promising materials for hydrogen storage. Herein, we report a novel pathway for the hydrogenation of Levogluosenone (LGO), a biorenewable platform chemical, to dihydrolevoglucosenone (Cyrene) and levoglucosanol (Lgol) using formic acid as a hydrogen source. Testing with typical hydrogenation catalysts indicated the crucial influence of the type on reaction selectivity and identified Pd/C as the most suitable catalyst. Among solvents screened, THF in combination with Pd/C showed the best performance for LGO hydrogenation, producing Cyrene in >99% yield at a low temperature (60 °C). Nevertheless, hydrogenation of Cyrene to Lgol required a harsher condition as a result of the difficult reduction property of its C=O bond. Elevating the reaction temperature to 180 °C and increasing double Pd dosage enabled a high yield of Lgol, attaining to 94.8%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2505-2510
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Energy Institute
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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