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Issue 3, 2012
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Sn-Beta catalysed conversion of hemicellulosic sugars

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Conversions of various pentoses and hexoses into methyl lactate has been demonstrated for the Sn-Beta catalyst. It is found that pentoses are converted to methyl lactate in slightly lower yields (∼40%) than what is obtained for hexoses (∼50%), but higher yields of glycolaldehyde dimethyl acetal are observed for the pentoses. This finding is in accordance to a reaction pathway that involves the retro aldol condensation of the sugars to form a triose and glycolaldehyde for the pentoses, and two trioses for hexoses. When reacting glycolaldehyde (formally a C2-sugar) in the presence of Sn-Beta, aldol condensation occurs, leading to the formation of methyl lactate, methyl vinylglycolate and methyl 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybutanoate. In contrast, when converting the sugars in water at low temperatures (100 °C), Sn-Beta catalyses the isomerisation of sugars (ketose–aldose epimers), rather than the formation of lactates.

Graphical abstract: Sn-Beta catalysed conversion of hemicellulosic sugars

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The article was received on 27 Sep 2011, accepted on 30 Nov 2011 and first published on 13 Jan 2012

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2GC16202D
Green Chem., 2012,14, 702-706

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    Sn-Beta catalysed conversion of hemicellulosic sugars

    M. S. Holm, Y. J. Pagán-Torres, S. Saravanamurugan, A. Riisager, J. A. Dumesic and E. Taarning, Green Chem., 2012, 14, 702
    DOI: 10.1039/C2GC16202D

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