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Keywords:

  • carbohydrates;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • hydrogen transfer;
  • renewable resources;
  • ruthenium
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Something from nothing: Hemicellulose is selectively converted into valuable xylitol via a mild hydrogen transfer reaction, with a xylitol yield above 80 %. Instead of using high-pressure H2, isopropanol is used as hydrogen source in the presence of a Ru/C catalyst. Furthermore, a selective step-by-step conversion of hemicellulose and cellulose to different polyols in a one-pot process is described.