Zinc chloride mediated degradation of cellulose at 200 °C and identification of the products
The effect of ZnCl2 on the degradation of cellulose was studied to develop conditions to produce useful feedstock chemicals directly from cellulosic biomass. Cellulose containing 0.5 mol of ZnCl2/mol of glucose unit of cellulose was found to degrade at 200 °C when heated for more than 60 s in air. The major non-gaseous products of the degradation were identified as furfural, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural and levulinic acid. The maximum yields for furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural are 8% and 9%, respectively, based on glucose unit of cellulose. These yields are reached after 150 s of heating at 200 °C. A cellulose sample containing 0.5 mol of ZnCl2/mol of glucose unit of cellulose and 5.6 equivalents of water when heated for 150 s at 200 °C produced levulinic acid as the only product in 6% yield. The ZnCl2 mediated controlled degradation of cellulose at 200 °C is shown to produce useful feedstock chemicals in low yield.
Amarasekara, A., & Ebede, C. (2009). Zinc chloride mediated degradation of cellulose at 200 °C and identification of the products. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.pvamu.edu/chemistry-physics-facpubs/96