Chemical conversion pathways for carbohydrates
Biomass has emerged as a potential alternative feedstock to dwindling fossil fuel reserves. Starting in the 1990s, extensive research has been directed towards the synthesis of useful platform chemicals from cellulosic biomass. Chemical conversion processes of biomass have evolved as a parallel approach to thermochemical and enzymatic synthetic routes. In this review, we summarize the recent developments in liquid phase chemical conversions of monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides. The reaction processes explored are hydrolysis, oxidation, reduction, hydrogenation, hydrogenolysis, esterification, etherification, glycosylation, dehydration, as well as the functionalization of the polysaccharide backbone. Our review follows a “process-driven” approach where the existing carbohydrate conversion pathways are classified according to the types of chemical processes involved.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2015 most accessed Green Chemistry articles