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Solvent-Free Catalytic Depolymerization of Cellulose to Water-Soluble Oligosaccharides

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons58815

Meine,  Niklas
Research Department Schüth, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons58928

Rinaldi,  Roberto
Research Group Rinaldi, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons58985

Schüth,  Ferdi
Research Department Schüth, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Meine, N., Rinaldi, R., & Schüth, F. (2012). Solvent-Free Catalytic Depolymerization of Cellulose to Water-Soluble Oligosaccharides. CHEMSUSCHEM, 5(8), 1449-1454. doi:10.1002/cssc.201100770.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-768A-3
Abstract
The use of cellulose is hampered by difficulties with breaking up the biopolymer into soluble products. Herein, we show that the impregnation of cellulosic substrates with catalytic amounts of a strong acid (e.g., H2SO4, HCl) is a highly effective strategy for minimizing the contact problem commonly experienced in mechanically assisted, solid-state reactions. Milling the acid-impregnated cellulose fully converts the substrate into water-soluble oligosaccharides within 2 h. In aqueous solution, soluble products are easily hydrolyzed at 130 degrees C in 1 h, leading to 91% conversion of the glucan fraction of a-cellulose into glucose, and 96% of the xylans into xylose. Minor products are glucose dimers (8%), 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (1%) and furfural (4%). Milling practical feedstocks (e.g., wood, sugarcane bagasse, and switchgrass) also results to water-soluble products (oligosaccharides and lignin fragments). The integrated approach (solid-state depolymerization in combination with liquid-phase hydrolysis) could well hold the key to a highly efficient entry process in biorefinery schemes