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Issue 9, 2011
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Catalytic production of levulinic acid from cellulose and other biomass-derived carbohydrates with sulfonated hyperbranched poly(arylene oxindole)s

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Abstract

Innovative catalyst design holds the key to fundamental advances in the transformation of cellulose to chemicals and transportation fuels, both of which are vital to meet the challenge of increasing energy costs and the finite nature of fossil fuel reserves. Here we report on the functionalization, characterization and successful application of sulfonated hyperbranched poly(arylene oxindole)s for the direct catalytic conversion of cellulose to levulinic acid. The use of water-soluble hyperbranched polymers in combination with ultrafiltration is conceptually novel and opens new horizons in the aqueous-phase processing of cellulose substrates with various degrees of crystallinity. Compared to most conventional types of acid catalysts, these highly acidic polymers demonstrate superior catalytic performance in terms of both activity and selectivity. Additionally, this molecular approach can be successfully transferred to the acid-catalyzed degradation of other abundant biomass resources, including starch, inulin and xylan.

Graphical abstract: Catalytic production of levulinic acid from cellulose and other biomass-derived carbohydrates with sulfonated hyperbranched poly(arylene oxindole)s

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Apr 2011, accepted on 07 Jul 2011 and first published on 08 Aug 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1EE01418H
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2011,4, 3601-3610
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    Catalytic production of levulinic acid from cellulose and other biomass-derived carbohydrates with sulfonated hyperbranched poly(arylene oxindole)s

    S. Van de Vyver, J. Thomas, J. Geboers, S. Keyzer, M. Smet, W. Dehaen, P. A. Jacobs and B. F. Sels, Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 3601
    DOI: 10.1039/C1EE01418H

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