• biomass;
  • cellobiose;
  • computational chemistry;
  • pyrolysis;
  • sugars
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Pyrolysis of Cellobiose The cover picture shows a likely intra-molecular hydrogen shift during the gas phase pyrolysis of cellobiose, a subunit of cellulose. In the full paper on p. 200 ff., R. S. Assary and L. A. Curtiss report the application of high-level quantum chemical methods to compute the thermodynamics and reaction barriers for the formation of levoglucosenone from cellobiose, which is helpful in finding new experimental routes to this product. The computational studies predict that the ether bond cleavage in cellobiose occurs through internal hydrogen transfer in gas phase and that the activation energy required is similar to that required to activate cellulose. The initials IACT stand for the Institute for Atom-efficient Chemical Transformations, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.