Catalytic valorization of cellulosic biomass into plattform chemicals
Currently, conversion of biomass into energy, fuels, and valuable chemicals have attracted a good piece of attention in order to the problems arising from the depletion of fossil fuels and global warming issue. In this sense, hexitols from hydrogenation of cellulosic biomass with a wide range of uses such as in food industry, cosmetics, medical and industrial applications.
Cellulose is the most abundant source of biomass; nevertheless its low reactivity had restricted its use only for paper industry. Therefore to overcome this matter, heterogeneous catalysts appear as a very interesting alternative because different kind of catalysts could be prepared and tested in a widespread range of reaction conditions. Therefore, researchers of our group are working on catalytic hydrogenation of sugars and cellulose into sorbitol and manitol using nickel, ruthenium and Ni-Ru over MCM-48 catalysts in order to achieve high yields and selectivities into sorbitol and mannitol (Scheme 1).