Innovative processes for converting carbohydrates to materials and fuels form the basis for profitable bio-based economies of the future. For such innovation, approaches that provide detailed structural information would be desirable to detect uncharted chemistries of carbohydrate conversion. Among the most important value-added products accessible though conversion of biomass is 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), whose market values strongly depends on the quality of the product. Here, we use high-field in situ NMR spectroscopy to shed light on obscure competing reactions of CrCl3-catalyzed carbohydrate conversion to HMF in water. High-field NMR spectroscopy has enormous prowess in distinguishing isomeric and dehydrated products formed from glucose. Previously unidentified compounds were identified with this approach and include anhydrosugars and a variety of branched and linear mono- and disaccharides. Other identified compounds leverage the understanding of the active catalyst species. In addition to providing mechanistic insight, the approaches and findings described herein help to measure and manage carbon balances and product quality in HMF production.
- 2D NMR
- Cascade reaction
- Chromium trichloride
Tosi, I., Elliot, S. G., Jessen, B., Riisager, A., Taarning, E., & Meier, S. (2019). Uncharted Pathways for CrCl3 Catalyzed Glucose Conversion in Aqueous Solution. Topics in Catalysis, 62(7-11), 669-677. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11244-019-01144-7