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The effect of Ru/C and MgCl2 on the cleavage of inter- and intra-molecular linkages during cornstalk hydrolysis residue valorization

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The cleavage of linkages of lignocellulose is important for its valorization. The linkage cleavage of cornstalk hydrolysis residue was investigated over catalysts (Ru/C + MgCl2) in EtOAc/H2O solvents. The results show that almost hydrogen bonds, C–C bonds, ether and ester bonds in the matrix of lignin and cellulose were broken, accompanying 80.6% of lignin and 98.5% of cellulose conversion, and obtaining 37.5% of aromatic monomers and 28.8% of lignin oligomers. In the reaction system, biphasic EtOAc/H2O solvents exhibited an effect on cleaving the intermolecular linkages between lignin and cellulose. MgCl2 showed limited abilities of breaking the α-O-4 and β-O-4 linkages in lignin and limited β-1, 4-glycosidic and hydrogen bonds in cellulose were cleaved over Ru/C catalyst. The cleavage of C–O linkages (α-O-4, β-O-4, 4-O-5) and C–C bonds (α-β, β-5) in lignin were mainly dependent on Ru/C catalyst. Much C–O and the stubborn C–C linkages of β-5, β-1 and 5-5 were significantly disrupted by the synergistic effect between MgCl2 and Ru/C. However, MgCl2 exhibited great contribution to breakage of β-1, 4-glycosidic linkage, hydrogen bonds and sugar ring of cellulose. The linkage of β-1, 4-glycosidic, hydrogen bonds and C–C in C5/C6 sugars were significantly broken. The increased yield of products was evidently due to the synergistic effect of Ru/C combined with MgCl2.

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This work was supported by NSFC (Natural Science Foundation of China) project (No. 51606205, 51676191, 51536009). Basic scientific research operating expenses project of Key Laboratory of Biomass Energy and Material, Jiangsu Province (JSBEM201902).

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Correspondence to Chenguang Wang or Longlong Ma.

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Lv, W., Liao, Y., Zhu, Y. et al. The effect of Ru/C and MgCl2 on the cleavage of inter- and intra-molecular linkages during cornstalk hydrolysis residue valorization. Cellulose 27, 799–823 (2020).

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