High (≥95 % C) yields of n-hexane and n-pentane were obtained by hydrogenolysis of aqueous sorbitol and xylitol, respectively, at 413–443 K by using the Ir-ReOx/SiO2 catalyst combined with H-ZSM-5 as a cocatalyst and n-dodecane as a cosolvent. The direct production of n-hexane from glucose or cellobiose can be achieved by using the same system. The catalyst can be reused simply by the removal of the n-dodecane phase, which contains the product alkane, and the addition of fresh n-dodecane and substrate.
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