Micro-sized hydrothermal carbon supporting metal oxide nanoparticles as efficient catalyst for mono-dehydration of sugar alcohol


Most known catalytic dehydration of sugar alcohols such as D-sorbitol and D-mannitol can only produce di-dehydrated forms as major product, but mono-dehydrated products are also useful chemicals. Moreover, both di- and mono-dehydration demand a high temperature (150°C or higher), which deserves further attentions. To improve the mono-dehydration efficiency, a series of metal-containing hydrothermal carbonaceous materials (HTC) are prepared as catalyst in this work. Characterization reveals that the composition of preparative solution has a key influence on the morphology of HTC. In transformation of D-sorbitol, all HTC catalysts show low conversions in water regardless of temperature, but much better outputs are obtained in ethanol, especially at a higher temperature. When D-mannitol is selected as substrate, moderate to high conversions are obtained in both water and ethanol. On the other hand, high mono-dehydration selectivity is obtained for both sugar alcohols by using all catalysts. The origin of mono-dehydration selectivity and role of carbon component in catalysis are discussed in association with calculations. This study provides an efficient, mild, eco-friendly, and cost-effective system for mono-dehydration of sugar alcohols, which means a lot to development in new detergents or other fine chemicals.

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This study is supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. xjj2014005).

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Correspondence to Donghua Zhang or Yang Sun.

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Pan, C., Fan, C., Wang, W. et al. Micro-sized hydrothermal carbon supporting metal oxide nanoparticles as efficient catalyst for mono-dehydration of sugar alcohol. Front. Energy (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11708-020-0677-0

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  • hydrothermal carbon
  • morphology
  • catalyst
  • mono-dehydration
  • sugar alcohol