A method to make levulinic acid (LA), furfural, or gamma-valerolactone (GVL). React cellulose (and/or other C.sub.6 carbohydrates) or xylose (and/or other C.sub.5 carbohydrates) or combinations thereof in a monophasic reaction medium comprising GVL and an acid; or (ii) a biphasic reaction system comprising an organic layer comprising GVL, and a substantially immiscible aqueous layer. At least a portion of the cellulose (and/or other C.sub.6 carbohydrates), if present, is converted to LA and at least a portion of the xylose (and/or other C.sub.5 carbohydrates), if present, is converted into furfural.
FEDERAL FUNDING STATEMENT
This invention was made with government support under DE-FC02-07ER64494 awarded by the US Department of Energy and W911NF-09-2-0010 awarded by the ARMY/ARO. The government has certain rights in the invention.