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Synthesis of Methyl Lactate from Glycerol Using Sn-Beta Zeolite

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Lactic acid can not only be used to produce multiple chemicals, but can also be the building block for biodegradable and biocompatible polylactic acid identified as a renewable resource. As a by-product in biodiesel production, the glycerol yield increases with a rapid expansion of biodiesel. However, in the chemical and environmental fields it is still a great challenge to produce lactic acid or methyl lactate from glycerol. Herein, Sn-Beta zeolite was prepared through solid-state ion exchange (Sn-Beta SSIE) and was tested for base-free one-pot catalytic selective oxidation of glycerol into methyl lactate in methanol. The results showed that a maximum selectivity of up to 56.7% was achieved with a 36.8% conversion rate at 433 K within 4 h under an initial oxygen pressure of 0.1 MPa. In addition, the methyl lactate yield is not high because of its decomposition in the presence of oxygen. This study aims to contribute to the development of the polylactic acid industry.
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Keywords: GLYCEROL; HETEROGENEOUS CATALYST; METHYL LACTATE; SELECTIVE CATALYTIC OXIDATION; SN-BETA ZEOLITE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2017

This article was made available online on 20 April 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Synthesis of Methyl Lactate from Glycerol Using Sn-Beta Zeolite".

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