Research

One of the challenges of depolymerizing lignin to valuable aromatics lies in the selective cleavage of the abundant C–O bonds of β-O-4 linkages. Herein we report a photocatalytic oxidation–hydrogenolysis tandem method for cleaving C–O bonds of β-O-4 alcohols. The Pd/ZnIn2S4 catalyst is used in the aerobic oxidation of α-C–OH of β-O-4 alcohols to α-C═O with 455 nm light, and then a TiO2–NaOAc system is employed for cleaving C–O bonds neighboring the α-C═O bonds through a hydrogenolysis reaction b

Efficient cleavage of lignin β-O-4 ether bonds to produce aromatics is a challenging and attractive topic. Recently a growing number of studies reveal the initial oxidation of CαHOH to Cα=O can decrease the β-O-4 bond dissociation energy (BDE) from 274.0 kJ•mol-1 to 227.8 kJ•mol-1, and thus the β-O-4 bond is more readily cleaved in the subsequent transfer hydrogenation, or acidolysis. Here we show that the first reaction step, except in the above-mentioned pre-oxidation methods, can be a Cα-OH b

We herein report a two-step strategy for oxidative cleavage of lignin C–C bond to aromatic acids and phenols with molecular oxygen as oxidant. In the first step, lignin β-O-4 alcohol was oxidized to β-O-4 ketone over a VOSO4/TEMPO [(2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-yl)oxyl)] catalyst. In the second step, the C–C bond of β-O-4 linkages was selectively cleaved to acids and phenols by oxidation over a Cu/1,10-phenanthroline catalyst. Computational investigations suggested a copper-oxo-bridged dimer w

Lignin in lignocellulosic biomass is the only renewable source for aromatic compounds, and effective valorization of lignin remains a significant challenge in biomass conversion processes. We have performed density functional theory calculations and experiments to investigate the cleavage mechanism of the C–O ether bond in the lignin model compound 2-phenoxy-1-phenylethanol with a β-O-4 linkage over a Pd(111) catalyst surface model. We propose the favorable reaction pathway to proceed as follows

We present an experimental and computational study of the elementary steps of hydrazine hydrogen transfer on crystalline MoO2, and demonstrate its unique bifunctional metallic-basic properties in a catalytic hydrogenation reaction. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations suggest that the stepwise hydrogen transfer via the prior cleavage of the N–H bond rather than the N–N bond, is the key step to create the dissociated hydride and proton species on the dual Mo and O sites, marking its diffe

Selective oxidative cleavage of a C-C bond offers a straightforward method to functionalize organic skeletons. Reported herein is the oxidative C-C bond cleavage of ketone for C-N bond formation over a cuprous oxide catalyst with molecular oxygen as the oxidant. A wide range of ketones and amines are converted into cyclic imides with moderate to excellent yields. In-depth studies show that both α-C-H and β-C-H bonds adjacent to the carbonyl groups are indispensable for the C-C bond cleavage. DFT

Creation of substrate-accessible interfacial defect sites will bring about new catalytic discoveries because substrate binding and activation on these sites are pivotal for controlling reaction intermediate and product selectivity. The partial oxidation of pristine Cu2O can lead to an excellent selective oxidation catalyst (CuO/Cu2O). The CuO/Cu2O, containing embedded CuO nanodomains on the surface and possessing abundant coordinatively unsaturated copper sites at the CuO-Cu2O interface, shows v

Herein, we report CO2-mediated metathesis reactions between amines and DMF to synthesize formamides. More than 20 amines, including primary, secondary, aromatic, and heterocyclic amines, diamines, and amino acids, are converted to the corresponding formamides with good-to-excellent conversions and selectivities under mild conditions. This strategy employs CO2 as a mediator to activate the amine under metal-free conditions. The experimental data and in situ NMR and attenuated total reflectance IR

Heterogeneously catalyzed synthesis of quinazolinones or quinazolines is reported in this study. An α-MnO2 catalyst is found to be highly active and selective in the oxidative cyclization of anthranilamides or aminobenzylamines with alcohols using TBHP as an oxidant. This protocol exhibits a broad substrate scope, and is operationally simple without an additive.

We here report a new protocol for the formylation of various amines, primary or secondary, aromatic or alkyl, cyclic or linear, mono- or di-amine, with dimethylformamide (DMF) as the formylation reagent to obtain the corresponding formamides in good to excellent yields over CeO2 catalyst. The reaction requires no homogeneous acidic or basic additives and is tolerant to water.