New catalytic strategies for α,ω-diols production from lignocellulosic biomass

Jiayue He, Kefeng Huang, Kevin J. Barnett, Siddarth H. Krishna, David M. Alonso, Zachary J. Brentzel, Samuel P. Burt, Theodore Walker, Williams F. Banholzer, Christos T. Maravelias, Ive Hermans, James A. Dumesic, George W. Huber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Catalytic strategies for the synthesis of 1,5-pentanediol (PDO) with 69% yield from hemicellulose and the synthesis of 1,6-hexanediol (HDO) with 28% yield from cellulose are presented. Fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass (white birch wood chips) in gamma-valerolactone (GVL)/H2O generates a pure cellulose solid and a liquid stream containing hemicellulose and lignin, which is further dehydrated to furfural with 85% yield. Furfural is converted to PDO with sequential dehydration, hydration, ring-opening tautomerization, and hydrogenation reactions. Acid-catalyzed cellulose dehydration in tetrahydrofuran (THF)/H2O produces a mixture of levoglucosenone (LGO) and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), which are converted with hydrogen to tetrahydrofuran-dimethanol (THFDM). HDO is then obtained from hydrogenolysis of THFDM. Techno-economic analysis demonstrates that this approach can produce HDO and PDO at a minimum selling price of $4090 per ton.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-267
Number of pages21
JournalFaraday Discussions
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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