Tin-containing silicates: Alkali salts improve methyl lactate yield from sugars

Søren Tolborg, Irantzu Sádaba, Christian Mårup Osmundsen, Peter Fristrup, Martin Spangsberg Holm, Esben Taarning

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This study focuses on increasing the selectivity to methyl lactate from sugars using stannosilicates as heterogeneous catalyst. All group I ions are found to have a promoting effect on the resulting methyl lactate yield. Besides, the alkali ions can be added both during the preparation of the catalyst or directly to the solvent mixture to achieve the highest reported yield of methyl lactate (ca. 75%) from sucrose at 170 8C in methanol. The beneficial effect of adding alkali to the reaction media applies not only to highly defect-free Sn-Beta prepared through the fluoride route, but also to materials prepared by post-treatment of dealuminated commercial Beta zeolites, as well as ordered mesoporous stannosilicates, in this case Sn-MCM-41 and Sn-SBA-15. These findings open the door to the possibility of using other preparation methods or different Sn-containing silicates with equally high methyl lactate yields as Sn-Beta.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)613-617
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Alkali metals
  • Biomass
  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Mesoporous materials
  • Zeolites


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