Tin-containing zeolite for the isomerization of cellulosic sugars

Christopher M. Lew, Nafiseh Rajabbeigi, Michael Tsapatsis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Isomerization reactions starting with dihydroxyacetone (DHA), xylose, and glucose in water were catalyzed by Sn-MFI and Sn-BEA zeolites. Sn-BEA was more active than Sn-MFI for glucose, while both catalysts were able to isomerize dihydroxyacetone and xylose. After 210 min at 90 °C, the yields of lactic acid, xylulose, and fructose using Sn-BEA were 54%, 24%, and 34%, respectively, at conversions of 93%, 81%, and 65%, respectively. Using Sn-MFI, the yields were 65%, 19%, and 4%, respectively, at conversions of 98%, 40%, and 9%, respectively. Pore size limitations, substrate sizes, and catalyst surface area all contribute to the strong activity of Sn-BEA for all three sugars; however, Sn-MFI is easier to make and may be suitable for reactions involving smaller molecules. Crown

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-58
Number of pages4
JournalMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials
StatePublished - May 1 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported as part of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0001004 . We thank Elizabeth Mallon for her help with HPLC and Professor Eray Aydil for the use of the UV–Vis spectrometer. Parts of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, a member of the NSF-funded Materials Research Facilities Network ( www.mrfn.org ) via the MRSEC program.


  • Biomass conversion
  • Catalysis
  • Zeolite


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