Reactions of a bio-renewable platform chemical

In their recent Catalysis Science & Technology Hot Article, Andrew Marr and co-workers investigate the amination and dehydration of the key biomass intermediate, 1,3-propanediol, to make commercial chemicals.

Chemicals that can be derived from biomass will be of increasing importance as oil resources become stretched over an ever expanding market. The efficient conversion of intermdiates derived from biomass by fermentation to commercial chemicals is the key to a more sustainable chemical industry. 1,3-Propanediol (1,3-PDO) is one such intermediate, for example the fermentation of glycerol from biodiesel production by Clostridium butyricum produces 1,3-propanediol with good productivity.  

In their Hot Article the group, based at Queen’s University Belfast, subjected this 1,3-propanediol to a range of amination conditions and found that an N-heterocyclic carbene piano stool complex was a good catalyst for amination and dehydration. Find out more by reading the article itself below – free to access.

Amination and dehydration of 1,3-propanediol by hydrogen transfer: reactions of a bio-renewable platform chemical
Sophie D. Lacroix, Annie Pennycook, Shifang Liu, Thomas T. Eisenhart and Andrew C. Marr
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2011, DOI: 10.1039/C1CY00339A

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