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Keywords:

  • boronic acids;
  • carbohydrates;
  • catalysis;
  • furans;
  • sustainable chemistry
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Looking forward: As fossil fuels deplete, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) will play an important role in securing future energy and chemical feedstock needs as it is obtainable from renewable resources such as glucose and cellulose. We report a group of nonmetal Lewis-acid arylboronic acids that catalyse the formation of HMF in 3-ethyl-1-methyl-3 H-imidazol-1-ium chloride ([EMIM]Cl) from glucose and cellulose. EWG=electron-withdrawing group.