Project title: ”Graphenes as eco-heterogeneous catalysts for the eco-production of C4-dicarboxylic acids”

Nr. 121/2017

Project code: PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2016-0146


Project objectives:

The GrafEco project challenges two very ambitious objectives: i) synthesis and investigation of Graphenes as eco-heterogeneous catalysts, and ii) the eco-production of C4-dicarboxylic acids. It envisages the production of graphene-based supports and catalysts for the selective direct production of three C4 di-acids ie fumaric, malic and itaconic acid derivatives from cellulose/glucose. Acids with additional keto- or hydroxyl-groups (like malic acid) are desirable building blocks for polyesters, while di-carboxylic acids (like fumaric acid) are used for the production of polyamides with advanced material properties. Fumaric acid is also used as a raw material for pharmaceutics. Itaconic acid is another C4 unsaturated dicarboxylic acid with a high potential as a platform for chemicals derived from sugars. As specific segments, the synthetic strategy of these acids will consider the in-situ transformation of the tartaric acid produced from cellulose/glucose: i) to fumaric acid via the didehydroxylation of vicinal diols; ii) the Wacker oxidation of fumaric double bond to a ketone followed by the in-situ enzymatic reduction of the C=O double bond to the asymmetric malic acid, and iii) the Sonogashira reaction of fumaric acid with acetylene and acetylene derivatives. For such a purposes Re, Cu, and Pd are envisaged as active species. The engineering of producing oriented nano-alloys will be as well investigated in these syntheses. Functionalization of graphenes with basic active components able to facilitate desorption of the carboxylic acids, the catalysts recycling and the transfer of the production of the targeted molecules from batch reactions to flow reactor conditions constitute additional challenging objectives. The present proposal is well fitting the Romanian National Plan for research, development and innovation for the period of 2015-2020.


Desired results:

The project envisages the production of graphene-based supports and catalysts for the selective direct production of three C4 di-acids ie fumaric, malic and itaconic acid derivatives from cellulose/glucose.

Time: 12.07.2017-31.12.2019

The total amount of the project: 850.000,00 RON


2017

Step 1 - Synthesis and characterization of eco-heterogeneous catalysts derived from graphene

Activities:

1.1. Design and synthesis of oriented nanoparticles containing species of Re

1.2. Functionalization of graphenes with active basic compounds

1.3. Characterization of catalysts

1.4. Preparation of reports, presentations in conferences