Inexpensive and tuneable protic ionic liquids based on sulfuric acid for the biphasic synthesis of alkyl levulinates

Marta Przypis, Karolina Matuszek, Anna Chrobok, Małgorzata Swadźba-Kwaśny, Danuta Gillner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
107 Downloads (Pure)


Alkyl levulinates are bio-derived chemicals, increasingly popular for their uses as solvents, additives and intermediates. However, efficient and recyclable catalysts for their synthesis are still the subject of intensive research. In this study, a wide range of alkyl levulinates was synthesized under mild conditions (room temperature, atmospheric pressure), using inexpensive and efficient Brønsted acidic ionic liquids (ILs) based on sulfuric acid and off-the-shelf bases. Acidity of the ILs was closely related to their activity. The ILs could be easy separated and recycled, without significant changes in conversion or selectivity over 10 cycles (yields ca. 90–95%). Under optimized conditions, a 99% yield of pentyl levulinate (model reaction) was achieved. The method was demonstrated to be efficient in the synthesis of levulinates of C1-C16 linear, branched and cyclic alcohols. This innovative, green route to alkyl levulinates fits well within the sustainable development strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113166
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular Liquids
Early online date17 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2020


  • Alkyl levulinates
  • Biphasic system
  • Ionic liquids
  • Lignocellulosic biomass
  • Sustainable chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Spectroscopy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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