Volume 15: Technology Innovation to Accelerate Energy Transitions

In situ Mg activator-based water donating hydrogenation of glucose to sorbitol Lusha Qin, Sungho Lee, Oi Lun Li


This research firstly proposed a in situ hydrogen generation to convert glucose to sorbitol via Mg scarification. This process features the utilization of Mg powder as the hydrogen activator, water as the hydrogen source, commercial Ru/C as the catalyst, allowing the hydrogenation to occur under mild reaction conditions without the external supply of hydrogen. Efficient production of hydrogen inside the reaction solvent results in a glucose conversion rate of 96% as well as the sorbitol selectivity of 92% over Ru/C at 110 °C for 2 h. The hydrogenation behavior of this system is examined under the gradient Mg dosage, Ru/C loading, and reaction temperature. A wide application scope has been verified, which containing fructose, mannose, galactose, xylose, and cellobiose. Furthermore, the Ru/C applied in this process can be reutilized successfully without sacrificing its high catalytic activity and sorbitol selectivity. This hydrogenation system makes significant advances by removing the dependence on the external supply of high-pressure hydrogen. This is the first study of a self-propelling, highly active process to highly selective hydrogenation of sugars to polyol under mild conditions, thus providing an economical, safe, and sustainable alternative to conventional hydrogenation methods.

Keywords Hydrogen generation, Mg-H2O reaction, glucose hydrogenation, sorbitol, sugar alcohol

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