Photocatalytic conversion of cellulose into C5 oligosaccharides

Nathan Skillen, Aakash Welgamage, Guan Zhang, Peter K J Robertson*, John T S Irvine*, Linda A Lawton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Cellulose is made up of linear polymers of glucose monomers that could be a crucial source for valuable chemicals and sustainable liquid fuels. Cellulose is however, very stable and its conversion to a useful fuel or platform chemical products remains a significant challenge (Kimura et al 2015 Sci. Rep. 5 16266; Xia et al 2016 Nat. Commun. 7 11162). Photocatalysis is a versatile technology which has demonstrated potential for solar driven processes such as water splitting or solar fuels production and has also been applied to the degradation of pollutants in air and water and for the production of useful products from biomass. Here, we focus on the products that are produced from cellulose (a glucose (C6) based polymer) photocatalysis that compliment hydrogen production. Probing the initial steps via UV-TiO2 photocatalysis, we remarkably find that an array of oligosaccharides containing only five (C5) carbon units is initially produced. As the process continues, C6 oligo oligosaccharides grow to dominate. The photocatalytic process is generally not viewed as a controllable synthetic process; however, these findings show, on the contrary that photocatalysis at semiconductor surfaces can achieve novel reaction pathways yielding new products.
Original languageEnglish
Article number015002
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physics: Energy
Volume6
Issue number1
Early online date03 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • sugar production
  • photocatalytic cellulose conversion
  • mechanism selectivity
  • C5 oligosaccharides
  • pH

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Photocatalytic conversion of cellulose into C5 oligosaccharides'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this