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  1. Cyclic ketene acetals (CKAs) are among the most well-studied monomers for radical ring-opening polymerization (rROP). However, ring-retaining side reactions and low reactivities in homopolymerization and copolymerization remain significant challenges for existing CKAs. Here, we report that a class of monosaccharide CKAs can be facilely prepared from a short and scalable synthetic route and can undergo quantitative, regiospecific, and stereoselective rROP. NMR analyses and degradation experiments revealed a reaction mechanism involving a propagating radical at the C2 position of pyranose, with different monosaccharides exhibiting distinct stereoselectivity in the radical addition of the monomer. Furthermore, adding maleimide was found to improve the incorporation efficiency of the monosaccharide CKA in the copolymerization with vinyl monomers, producing unique degradable terpolymers with carbohydrate motifs in the polymer backbone. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 28, 2025
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  6. Abstract

    We report an electrochemical method for coupling biomass‐derived C5/C6 compounds to value‐added fuel precursors. Using only 2 % of equivalent charges, 2‐methylfuran (2‐MF) was oxidized to yield a cation radical, which readily reacted with 3‐hexene‐2,5‐dione, a derivate of 2,5‐dimethylfuran, to produce 3‐(5‐methylfuran‐2‐yl)hexane‐2,5‐dione. The product was converted to 4‐ethylnonane (a component of biodiesel/jet fuel) in a single step in excellent yield. Importantly, the reaction was not sensitive to oxygen, and a trace amount of water was found to promote the reaction. Detailed mechanistic studies confirmed the proposed reaction pathways. Key to the mechanism is the radical generation that is enabled by electrochemistry. The radical is regenerated at the end of a reaction cycle to ensure chain propagation for an average of ca. 47 times, resulting in an apparent Faradaic efficiency of 4700 %.

     
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  7. Abstract

    We report an electrochemical method for coupling biomass‐derived C5/C6 compounds to value‐added fuel precursors. Using only 2 % of equivalent charges, 2‐methylfuran (2‐MF) was oxidized to yield a cation radical, which readily reacted with 3‐hexene‐2,5‐dione, a derivate of 2,5‐dimethylfuran, to produce 3‐(5‐methylfuran‐2‐yl)hexane‐2,5‐dione. The product was converted to 4‐ethylnonane (a component of biodiesel/jet fuel) in a single step in excellent yield. Importantly, the reaction was not sensitive to oxygen, and a trace amount of water was found to promote the reaction. Detailed mechanistic studies confirmed the proposed reaction pathways. Key to the mechanism is the radical generation that is enabled by electrochemistry. The radical is regenerated at the end of a reaction cycle to ensure chain propagation for an average of ca. 47 times, resulting in an apparent Faradaic efficiency of 4700 %.

     
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