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- Separation and purification technology
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- Medium: X
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- National Science Foundation
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Rational catalyst design and optimal solvent selection are key to advancing biorefining. Here, we explored the organocatalytic isomerization of d-fructose to a valuable rare monosaccharide, d-allulose, as a function of solvent. The isomerization of d-fructose to d-allulose competes with its isomerization to d-glucose and sugar degradation. In both water and DMF, the catalytic activity of amines towards d-fructose is correlated with their basicity. Solvents impact the selectivity significantly by altering the tautomeric distribution of d-fructose. Our results suggest that the furanose tautomer of d-fructose is isomerized to d-allulose, and the fractional abundance of this tautomer increases as follows: water < MeOH < DMF ≈ DMSO. Reaction rates are also higher in aprotic than in protic solvents. The best d-allulose yield, 14 %, was obtained in DMF with 1,5,7-triazabicyclo[4.4.0]dec-5-ene (TBD) as the catalyst. The reaction kinetics and mechanism were explored using operando NMR spectroscopy.more » « less
The use of polar solvents MeCN or dimethylformamide (DMF) was previously shown to induce a selectivity switch in the Pd/P
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