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Journal Article

Conversion of (Ligno)Cellulose Feeds to Isosorbide with Heteropoly Acids and Ru on Carbon


Geboers,  Jan
Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 23, 3001 Heverlee (Belgium);
Research Department Schüth, Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Max Planck Society;

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Op de Beeck, B., Geboers, J., Van de Vyver, S., Van Lishout, J., Snelders, J., Huijgen, W., et al. (2013). Conversion of (Ligno)Cellulose Feeds to Isosorbide with Heteropoly Acids and Ru on Carbon. ChemSusChem, 6(1), 199-208. doi:10.1002/cssc.201200610.

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The catalytic valorization of cellulose is currently subject of intense research. Isosorbide is among the most interesting products that can be formed from cellulose as it is a potential platform molecule and can be used for the synthesis of a wide range of pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and polymers. A promising direct route from cellulose to isosorbide is presented in this work. The strategy relies on a one-pot bifunctional catalytic concept, combining heteropoly acids, viz. H4SiW12O40, and redox catalysts, viz. commercial Ru on carbon, under H2 pressure. Starting from pure microcrystalline cellulose, a rapid conversion was observed, resulting in over 50 % isosorbide yield. The robustness of the developed system is evidenced by the conversion of a range of impure cellulose pulps obtained by organosolv fractionation, with isosorbide yields up to 63 %. Results were compared with other (ligno)cellulose feedstocks, highlighting the importance of fractionation and purification to increase reactivity and convertibility of the cellulose feedstock.