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Tandem Catalytic Depolymerization of Lignin by Water-Tolerant Lewis Acids and Rhodium Complexes.

ABSTRACT: Lignin is an attractive renewable feedstock for aromatic bulk and fine chemicals production, provided that suitable depolymerization procedures are developed. Here, we describe a tandem catalysis strategy for ether linkage cleavage within lignin, involving ether hydrolysis by water-tolerant Lewis acids followed by aldehyde decarbonylation by a Rh complex. In?situ decarbonylation of the reactive aldehydes limits loss of monomers by recondensation, a major issue in acid-catalyzed lignin depolymerization. Rate of hydrolysis and decarbonylation were matched using lignin model compounds, allowing the method to be successfully applied to softwood, hardwood, and herbaceous dioxasolv lignins, as well as poplar sawdust, to give the anticipated decarbonylation products and, rather surprisingly, 4-(1-propenyl)phenols. Promisingly, product selectivity can be tuned by variation of the Lewis-acid strength and lignin source.

SUBMITTER: Jastrzebski R 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5129541 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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