The future role of biomass-derived chemicals relies on the formation of diverse functional monomers in high yields from carbohydrates. Recently, it has become clear that a series of α-hydroxy acids, esters and lactones can be formed from carbohydrates in alcohols and water using tin-containing catalysts such as Sn-Beta. These compounds are potential building blocks for polyesters with additional olefin and alcohol functionalities. We employ an NMR approach to identify, quantify and optimize the formation these building blocks in the chemocatalytic transformation of abundant carbohydrates by Sn-Beta. Record yields of the target molecules can be achieved by obstructing competing reactions through solvent choice.
- Solvent effect