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Keywords:

  • cleavage reactions;
  • isotopic labeling;
  • lignin;
  • oxidation;
  • vanadium
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Vanadium complexes catalyze C[BOND]C and C[BOND]O bond cleavage reactions in lignin model compounds with air as the oxidant. In their Communication on page 3410 ff., S. K. Hanson, R. Wu, and L. A. Silks report the influence of the ligand framework of the vanadium catalyst on the selectivity of the bond cleavage, thus showing the potential of homogeneous catalysts for controlling selectivity in the aerobic oxidation of lignin. (Picture by Josh Smith, LANL Chemistry Division.)