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Hydrogenated 5-carbon compound and method of making

United States Patent

March 16, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Commercialization Program Website
The present invention is based upon the surprising discovery that a 5-carbon compound selected from the group of 4-oxopentanoic acid, at least one lactone of 4-oxopentanoic acid, and combinations thereof, may be hydrogenated with a bimetallic catalyst of a noble metal in combination with a second metal and preserve the pendant methyl group. It was further unexpectedly discovered that the same conditions of bimetallic catalyst in the presence of hydrogen are useful for catalyzing the different intermediate reactions for example angelicalactone to gamma-valerolactone and gamma-valerolactone to 1,4-pentanediol. Finally, it was surprising that levulinic acid could be converted to 2-methyltetrahydrofuran with heating in the presence of the bimetallic catalyst and hydrogen in a single process vessel. The method of the present invention unexpectedly produced a fuel or fuel component having 2-methyltetrahydrofuran either in a yield greater than 4.5 mol % or in combination with alcohols.
Elliott; Douglas C. (Richland, WA), Frye; John G. (Richland, WA)
Battelle Memorial Institute (Richland, WA)
00/ 000,000
January 16, 1998
This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC06 76RLO 1830 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.