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Keywords:

  • biofuels;
  • biomass;
  • dehydration;
  • elimination;
  • furanics
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The acid-catalyzed dehydration of glucose to hydroxymethylfurfural (6) can occur via two possible mechanisms. 3-deoxy-D-erythro-hex-2-ulose (3) is found to be an intermediate in the formation of 6 from glucose (1). This finding implies that elimination of the glucose 3-OH group is the important step, rather than isomerization of the carbonyl group.