Methacrylic acid, an important monomer for the plastics industry, was obtained in high selectivity (up to 84%) by the decarboxylation of itaconic acid using heterogeneous catalysts based on Pd, Pt and Ru. The reaction takes place in water at 200–2508C without any external added pressure, conditions significantly milder than those described previously for the same conversion with better yield and selectivity. A comprehensive study of the reaction parameters has been performed, and the isolation of methacrylic acid was achieved in 50% yield. The decarboxylation procedure is also applicable to citric acid, a more widely available bio-based feedstock, and leads to the production of methacrylic acid in one pot in 41% selectivity. Aconitic acid, the intermediate compound in the pathway from citric acid to itaconic acid was also used successfully as a substrate.
- renewable resources
- supercritical water
- reaction pathways
le Notre, J. E. L., Witte-van Dijk, S. C. M., van Haveren, J., Scott, E. L., & Sanders, J. P. M. (2014). Synthesis of bio-based methacrylic acid by decarboxylation of itaconic acid and citric acid catalyzed by solid transition-metal catalysts. ChemSusChem, 7(9), 2712-2720. https://doi.org/10.1002/cssc.201402117