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Issue 2, 2013
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Cleavage and hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of C–O bonds relevant to lignin conversion using Pd/Zn synergistic catalysis

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Abstract

The development of chemical methods for the direct catalytic conversion of biomass to high value organic molecules is an area of increasing interest. The plant matter component known as lignin is a polymer consisting of aromatic rings that could provide a means of obtaining aromatic materials currently derived solely from petroleum. This report describes a bimetallic Pd/C and Zn catalytic system that can perform selective hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of monomeric lignin surrogates as well as successfully cleave the β-O-4 linkages found in dimeric lignin model complexes and synthetic lignin polymers with near quantitative conversions and yields between 80–90%. The reaction with lignin polymer was highly selective affording methoxy substituted propylphenol as the major product. These reactions were performed in a Parr reactor operating at relatively mild temperature (150 °C) and pressure (20 bar H2) using methanol as a solvent. Reaction products were characterized using high-pressure liquid chromatography coupled to a linear quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer equipped with an electrospray ionization source using negative ion mode. Hydroxide ions were doped into the analyte solutions to encourage negative ion formation. This method ionizes all the mixture components to yield a single ion/analyte with no fragmentation. The catalyst is fully recyclable without the need for additional zinc. X-ray absorption spectroscopy (EXAFS) is consistent with Pd nanoparticles (4–5 nm) and no evidence of Pd–Zn alloy formation. A mechanistic hypothesis on the synergy between Pd and Zn is presented.

Graphical abstract: Cleavage and hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of C–O bonds relevant to lignin conversion using Pd/Zn synergistic catalysis

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Oct 2012, accepted on 08 Nov 2012 and first published on 14 Nov 2012


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2SC21657D
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2013,4, 806-813
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    Cleavage and hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of C–O bonds relevant to lignin conversion using Pd/Zn synergistic catalysis

    T. H. Parsell, B. C. Owen, I. Klein, T. M. Jarrell, C. L. Marcum, L. J. Haupert, L. M. Amundson, H. I. Kenttämaa, F. Ribeiro, J. T. Miller and M. M. Abu-Omar, Chem. Sci., 2013, 4, 806
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SC21657D

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