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Issue 4, 2016
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Production of solubilized carbohydrate from cellulose using non-catalytic, supercritical depolymerization in polar aprotic solvents

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Abstract

We report yields of solubilized and depolymerized carbohydrate from solvent processing of cellulose as high as 94% without use of catalysts. Cellulose was converted using a variety of polar aprotic solvents at supercritical conditions, including 1,4-dioxane, ethyl acetate, tetrahydrofuran, methyl iso-butyl ketone, acetone, acetonitrile, and gamma-valerolactone. Maximum yield of solubilized products from cellulose, defined as both depolymerized carbohydrate and products of carbohydrate dehydration, was 72 to 98% at 350 °C for reaction times of 8–16 min. In all cases solvents were recovered with high efficiency. Levoglucosan was the most prevalent solubilized carbohydrate product with yields reaching 41% and 34% in acetonitrile and gamma-valerolactone, respectively. Levoglucosan yields increased with increasing polar solubility parameter, corresponding to decreasing activation energy for cellulose depolymerization.

Graphical abstract: Production of solubilized carbohydrate from cellulose using non-catalytic, supercritical depolymerization in polar aprotic solvents

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Sep 2015, accepted on 23 Sep 2015 and first published on 23 Sep 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC02071A
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Green Chem., 2016,18, 1023-1031

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    Production of solubilized carbohydrate from cellulose using non-catalytic, supercritical depolymerization in polar aprotic solvents

    A. Ghosh, R. C. Brown and X. Bai, Green Chem., 2016, 18, 1023
    DOI: 10.1039/C5GC02071A

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