Date: 23 Mar 2010

Heterogeneously-Catalyzed Conversion of Carbohydrates

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Abstract

Polyfunctionality of carbohydrates and their low solubility in conventional organic solvents make rather complex their conversion to higher value added chemicals. Therefore, innovative processes are now strongly needed in order to increase the selectivity of these reactions. Here, we report an overview of the different heterogeneously-catalyzed processes described in the literature. In particular, hydrolysis, dehydration, oxidation, esterification, and etherification of carbohydrates are presented. We shall discuss the main structural parameters that need to be controlled and that permit the conversion of carbohydrates to bioproducts with good selectivity. The conversion of monosaccharides and disaccharides over solid catalysts, as well as recent advances in the heterogeneously-catalyzed conversion of cellulose, will be presented.