Room temperature, near-quantitative conversion of glucose into formic acid†
Herein, a facile and efficient method was developed to selectively transform glucose into formic acid at room temperature. After parameter optimization, formic acid was obtained in an unprecedented 91.3% yield with a reaction time of 8 h in lithium hydroxide aqueous solution with hydrogen peroxide as the oxidant. The synergistic effects of the base and the oxidant promoted the glucose conversion at room temperature and enhanced the selectivity towards FA. Besides, the employed mild conditions have suppressed FA decomposition that often occurred under harsh conditions, which further improved the FA selectivity. A series of model compound tests were conducted to probe the possible intermediates based on which a plausible reaction pathway was proposed. In addition, the process is applicable to various carbohydrates such as cellobiose, starch, xylan, etc. This work opens up a simple, mild but effective method to produce FA from renewable biomass resources, which would remarkably alleviate the energy consumption, capital costs, handling risks, etc.
- This article is part of the themed collection: International Symposium on Green Chemistry 2019