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Quantitation of fast hydrolysis of cellulose catalyzed by its substituents for potential biomass conversion

Mu, Bingnan, Xu, Helan, Li, Wei, Yang, Yiqi
Bioresource technology 2019 v.273 pp. 305-312
acid hydrolysis, biomass, cellulose, cotton, density functional theory, ions
This paper investigates the accelerated acidic hydrolysis of cellulose by its substituents for potential biomass conversion. Insufficient pretreatments and slow cellulose hydrolysis are major obstacles that impede efficient hydrolysis of cellulose. Substituted cellulose, such as dyed cotton, has large availability. It is susceptible to acidic hydrolysis and can be used for biomass conversion without any pretreatments. To understand the mechanism of accelerated hydrolysis of cellulose by its substituents is a prerequisite for cellulosic biomass conversion with high efficiency. Substituents with different charge properties were synthesized and their interactions with oxocarbenium ions were studied based on Density Functional Theory. Results indicate that hydrolysis rate is affected by field effect from substituents. Such field effect is dominated by amounts of negative charges on substituents and distance between negatively charged groups and oxocarbenium. Hydrolysis rate of dye-substituted cotton is higher than or comparable to that applied with other catalytic approaches.