H4SiW12O40-Catalyzed Levulinic Acid Esterification at Room Temperature for Production of Fuel Bioadditives

  • Castelo Bandane Vilanculo
  • Lorena Christina de Andrade Leles
  • Márcio José da SilvaEmail author
Original Paper


In this work, a route to synthesize bioadditives through H4SiW12O40-catalyzed levulinic acid esterification reactions with alcohols of short chain at room temperature was assessed. Among the Brønsted acids assessed (i.e., sulfuric, p-toluenesulfonic, silicotungstic, phosphomolybdic and phosphotungstic acids), H4SiW12O40 was the most active and selective catalyst. High conversions (ca. 90%) and selectivity (90–97%) for alkyl levulinates with carbon chain size ranging from C6 to C10 were obtained. The effect of main reaction parameters was studied, with a special focus on the reaction temperature, stoichiometry of reactants, concentration and nature of the catalyst. Insights on reaction mechanism were done and the activity of heteropoly catalysts was discussed based on acid strength and softness of the heteropolyanions. The use of renewable raw material, the mild reaction conditions (i.e., room temperature), and a recyclable solid catalyst are the some of the positive features of this process. The alkyl levulinates obtained are renewable origin bioadditives that can be blended either to gasoline or diesel.

Graphical Abstract


Fuel bioadditives Heteropolyacids Levulinic acid Biomass 



The authors are grateful for the financial support from CNPq and FAPEMIG (Brazil). This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001.

Supplementary material

12649_2018_549_MOESM1_ESM.docx (38 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 38 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculdade de Ciências Naturais e Matemática-Campus de LhangueneUniversidade Pedagógica de MoçambiqueMaputoMozambique
  2. 2.Chemistry DepartmentFederal University of ViçosaViçosaBrazil

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