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Lewis Acid Catalyzed Conversion of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural to 1,2,4-Benzenetriol, an Overlooked Biobased Compound

Kumalaputri, A. J., Randolph, C., Otten, E., Heeres, H. J. & Deuss, P. J., 5-Mar-2018, In : ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering . 6, 3, p. 3419-3425 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is a platform chemical that can be produced from renewable carbohydrate sources. HMF can be converted to 1,2,4-benzenetriol (BTO) which after catalytic hydrodeoxygenation provides a route to cyclohexanone and cyclohexanol. This mixture, known as KA oil, is an important feedstock for polymeric products such as nylons which use benzene as feedstock that is obtained from the BTX fraction produced in oil refineries. Therefore, the conversion of HMF to BTO provides a renewable, alternative route toward products such as nylons. However, BTO is usually considered an undesired byproduct in HMF synthesis and is only obtained in small amounts. Here, we show that Lewis acid catalysts can be utilized for the selective conversion of HMF to BTO in subsuper critical water. Overall, up to 54 mol % yield of BTO was achieved at 89% HMF conversion using ZnCl2. ZnCl2 and similarly effective Zn(OTf)(2) and Fe(OTf)(2) are known as relatively soft Lewis acids. Other Lewis acid like Hf(OTf)(4) and Sc(OTf)(3) gave increased selectivity toward levulinic acid (up to 33 mol %) instead of BTO, a well-known HMF derivative typically obtained by acid catalysis. Catalytic hydrodeoxygenation of BTO toward cyclohexanone in water was achieved in up to 45% yield using 5 wt % Pd on Al2O3 combined with AlCl3 or Al(OTf)(3) as catalysts. Additionally, a mild selective oxygen induced dimerization pathway of BTO to 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexahydroxybiphenyl (5,5'-BTO dimer) was identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3419-3425
Number of pages13
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Volume6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5-Mar-2018

    Keywords

  • Biobased chemicals, HMF, Benzenetriol, Lewis acids, Super critical water, Cyclohexanone, Hydrodeoxygenation, RENEWABLE RESOURCES, SUPERCRITICAL WATER, AROMATIC CHEMICALS, MODEL COMPOUNDS, HYDROGENATION, CYCLOHEXANONE, CAPROLACTAM, BENZENE, CATIONS, BIOMASS

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