The biomass-derived platform molecule levulinic acid is converted into the angelica lactone dimer (ALD) in high overall yield using simple inorganic catalysts. Hydrodecarboxylation of ALD using a Pd/γ-Al2O3 catalyst under moderate hydrogen gas pressure at high temperatures generates branched C8–C9 hydrocarbons in nearly quantitative yield consuming as little as a single equivalent of external hydrogen. These molecules are high-octane “drop-in” equivalents of isoalkanes used in commercial gasoline. Catalytic hydrodecarboxylation is presented as a highly effective means to reduce hydrogen demand in biomass-to-biofuel conversion technologies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry