The production of bulk chemicals and fuels from renewable bio-based feedstocks is of significant importance for the sustainability of human society. Adipic acid, as one of the most-demanded drop-in chemicals from a bioresource, is used primarily for the large-volume production of nylon-6,6 polyamide. It is highly desirable to develop sustainable and environmentally friendly processes for the production of adipic acid from renewable feedstocks. However, currently there is no suitable bio-adipic acid synthesis process. Demonstrated herein is the highly efficient synthetic protocol for the conversion of mucic acid into adipic acid through the oxorhenium-complex-catalyzed deoxydehydration (DODH) reaction and subsequent Pt/C-catalyzed transfer hydrogenation. Quantitative yields (99 %) were achieved for the conversion of mucic acid into muconic acid and adipic acid either in separate sequences or in a one-step process.
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