We report an efficient one-pot conversion of glycerol (GLY) to methyl lactate (MLACT) in methanol in good yields (73% at 95% GLY conversion) by using Au nanoparticles on commercially available ultra-stable zeolite-Y (USY) as the catalyst (160 degrees C, air, 47bar pressure, 0.25M GLY, GLY-to-Au mol ratio of 1407, 10h). The best results were obtained with zeolite USY-600, a catalyst that has both Lewis and BrOnsted sites. This methodology provides a direct chemo-catalytic route for the synthesis of MLACT from GLY. MLACT is stable under the reaction conditions, and the Au/USY catalyst was recycled without a decrease in the activity and selectivity.
- selective oxidation
- commodity chemicals