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Synthesis of ethanol from aryl methyl ether/lignin, CO2 and H2

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Abstract

Currently, ethanol is produced via hydration of ethene or fermentation of foods. Lignin and CO2 are abundant, cheap and renewable feedstocks. Synthesis of ethanol using the lignin or its derivatives is of great importance, but is a great challenge and has rarely been reported. Herein, we propose a route to synthesize ethanol from CO2, H2, and lignin or various aryl methyl ethers, which can be derived from lignin. The reaction could be effectively conducted using Ru–Co bimetallic catalyst and the TON of ethanol could reach 145. Interestingly, ethanol was the only liquid product when lignin was used. A series of control experiments indicate that ethanol was formed via cleavage of aryl ether bond, reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reaction, and C–C bond formation. This protocol opens a way to produce ethanol using abundant renewable resources.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis of ethanol from aryl methyl ether/lignin, CO2 and H2

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Jul 2019, accepted on 01 Oct 2019 and first published on 02 Oct 2019


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C9SC03386F
Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
    All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

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    Synthesis of ethanol from aryl methyl ether/lignin, CO2 and H2

    J. Zhang, Q. Qian, Y. Wang, B. B. Asare Bediako, J. Yan and B. Han, Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9SC03386F

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