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Keywords:

  • alcohols;
  • dehydration;
  • elimination;
  • rhenium;
  • styrenes
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The oxygen content of biomass-based materials can be reduced by selective dehydration of hydroxyl groups. As a first step towards biomass-based chemicals, rhenium-based catalysts are shown to be active in the dehydration of various benzylic alcohols to styrene moieties. The turnover frequencies are superior to the benchmark catalyst sulfuric acid, without sacrificing any selectivity.