The catalytic activity of anionic ruthenium complexes toward the transformation of bio-ethanol to 1- butanol and higher alcohols is found to be dependent on the imidazolium counterion. After the identification of a parallel reaction involving the catalyst in hydrogen evolution, conversion and selectivity are impressively boosted by the addition of p-benzoquinones as co-catalysts. The catalytic system avoids the side reaction and led to highly competitive conversions up to 88% (0.2 % mol ruthenium catalyst loading, 1.5 % mol benzoquinone loading). Butanol and higher alcohols are produced in yields up to 85% (overall selectivity 97%) as a mixture of valuable alcohols for advanced biofuel and lubricants applications. The catalytic system can be recycled and the reaction shows comparable efficiency on a real matrix (alcohol from wine production chain wastes) even in the presence of significant amounts of water, thus closing a hypothetic economic circle. A reaction mechanism is proposed for the most promising ruthenium complex working in cooperation with the most efficient co-catalyst: p-benzoquinone.

Boosting the guerbet reaction: A cooperative catalytic system for the efficient bio-ethanol refinery to second-generation biofuels

Cesari, Cristiana
;
Gagliardi, Anna;Messori, Alessandro;Monti, Nicola;Zanotti, Valerio;Zacchini, Stefano;Rivalta, Ivan;Calcagno, Francesco;Tabanelli, Tommaso;Cavani, Fabrizio;Mazzoni, Rita
2022

Abstract

The catalytic activity of anionic ruthenium complexes toward the transformation of bio-ethanol to 1- butanol and higher alcohols is found to be dependent on the imidazolium counterion. After the identification of a parallel reaction involving the catalyst in hydrogen evolution, conversion and selectivity are impressively boosted by the addition of p-benzoquinones as co-catalysts. The catalytic system avoids the side reaction and led to highly competitive conversions up to 88% (0.2 % mol ruthenium catalyst loading, 1.5 % mol benzoquinone loading). Butanol and higher alcohols are produced in yields up to 85% (overall selectivity 97%) as a mixture of valuable alcohols for advanced biofuel and lubricants applications. The catalytic system can be recycled and the reaction shows comparable efficiency on a real matrix (alcohol from wine production chain wastes) even in the presence of significant amounts of water, thus closing a hypothetic economic circle. A reaction mechanism is proposed for the most promising ruthenium complex working in cooperation with the most efficient co-catalyst: p-benzoquinone.
Cesari, Cristiana; Gagliardi, Anna; Messori, Alessandro; Monti, Nicola; Zanotti, Valerio; Zacchini, Stefano; Rivalta, Ivan; Calcagno, Francesco; Lucarelli, Carlo; Tabanelli, Tommaso; Cavani, Fabrizio; Mazzoni, Rita
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/852820
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