Catalytic properties of microporous zeolite catalysts in synthesis of isosorbide from sorbitol by dehydration

Sangmin Jeong, Ki Joon Jeon, Young Kwon Park, Byung Joo Kim, Kyong Hwan Chung, Sang Chul Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


As bisphenol A has been found to cause hormonal disturbances, the natural biomaterial isosorbide is emerging as a substitute. In this study, a method for isosorbide synthesis from sorbitol was proposed by dehydration under high temperature and high pressure reaction. Microporous zeolites and Amberlyst 35 solid acids with various acid strengths and pore characteristics were applied as catalysts. In the synthesis of isosorbide from sorbitol, the acidity of the catalyst was the main factor. MOR and MFI zeolite catalysts with high acid strength and small pore size showed low conversion of sorbitol and low yield of isosorbide. On the other hand, the conversion of sorbitol was high in BEA zeolite with moderate acid strength. Amberlyst 35 solid acid catalysts showed a relatively high conversion of sorbitol, but low yield of isosorbide. The Amberlyst 35 solid acid catalyst without micropores did not show any inhibitory effects on the production of by-products. However, in the BEA zeolite catalyst, which has a relatively large pore structure compared with the MOR and MFI zeolites, the formation of by-products was suppressed in the pores, thereby improving the yield of isosorbide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • Bisphenol A
  • Dehydration
  • Isosorbide
  • Solid acid catalyst
  • Sorbitol


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