Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Jason G. Parsons

Second Advisor

Dr. Arnulfo Mar

Third Advisor

Dr. Erik Plata


The vanadium-substituted tetraazatetrabenzoporphyrin, vanadium phthalocyanine, was synthesized via reflux and characterized using FITR and XRD analysis. Subsequent to synthesis, the vanadium phthalocyanine was studied as a catalyst in redox reactions to convert fructose to different molecules, the products were predominately levulinic methyl ester and heptadionic acid. The ability to convert fructose to other compounds, such as alkyl levulinic derivative, is an important process to help eliminate reliance on traditional chemical feed stocks and promote alternative fuels. Levulinic acid has been commonly used as a starting material in the synthesis of biofuels and a precursor for pharmaceuticals, plasticizers, THF derivatives, γ-valerolatone. In the present study reactions were performed under acidic conditions using strong acids, which included nitric, sulfuric, hydrochloric, and hydrobromic acids, open atmospheric reflux in methanol and the reaction products were analyzed using GC-MS. Levulinic methyl ester and heptadionic acid were identified along with other coupled carbon-carbon products resulting from the de-cyclization of the sugar and subsequent coupling in a single pot reflux. The reactions show that metal-porphyrin systems are catalytic in the generation of organic molecules from biological material such as sugars, cellular material and cell walls.


Copyright 2021 Juan Ricardo Luna. All Rights Reserved.

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