Catalytic conversion of α-pinene to high-density fuel candidates over stannic chloride molten salt hydrates

Seong Min Cho, June Ho Choi, Jong Hwa Kim, Bonwook Koo, In Gyu Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The synthesis of dimeric products from monoterpene hydrocarbons has been studied for the development of renewable high-density fuel. In this regard, the conversion of α-pinene in turpentine over stannic chloride molten salt hydrates (SnCl4·5H2O) as a catalyst was investigated, and the reaction products were analyzed with gas chromatography/flame ionization detector/mass spectrometer (GC/FID/MS). Overall, the content of α-pinene in a reaction mixture decreased precipitously with an increasing reaction temperature. Almost 100% of the conversion was shown after 1 h of reaction above 90C. From α-pinene, dimeric products (hydrocarbons and alcohols/ethers) were mostly formed and their yield showed a steady increase of up to 61 wt% based on the reaction mixture along with the reaction temperature. This conversion was thought to be promoted by Brønsted acid activity of the catalyst, which resulted from a Lewis acid-base interaction between the stannic (Sn(IV)) center and the coordinated water ligands. As for the unexpected heteroatom-containing products, oxygen and chlorine atoms were originated from the coordinated water and chloride ligands of the catalyst. Based on the results, we constructed not only a plausible catalytic cycle of SnCl4·5H2O but also the mechanism of catalyst decomposition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7517
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • High-density fuel
  • Renewable fuel
  • Stannic chloride molten salt hydrates
  • Turpentine
  • α-pinene dimerization

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