Sweetly done: Pt or Ru catalysts supported on inorganic oxides show high activity for the conversion of cellulose into sugar alcohols (mainly sorbitol) in water under hydrogen pressure; furthermore, the catalysts can be recycled over repeated runs. Glucose is produced in low yields, thus suggesting that the Pt (or Ru)/oxide works as a bifunctional catalyst for the hydrolysis of cellulose and subsequent reduction to sugar alcohols.
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