Chemical Research in Chinese Universities ›› 2024, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (1): 29-35.doi: 10.1007/s40242-024-3279-2

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Robust Carbon-Carbon Cleavage in Lignin to Produce Phenol and Cyclohexanone

WANG Lulin1,2, CHENG Xiaomeng1,2, DONG Minghua1,2, LUAN Sen1,2, WU Yuxuan1,2, HAN Buxing1,2, LIU Huizhen1,2   

  1. 1. Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, CAS Laboratory of Colloid and Interface and Thermodynamics, CAS Research/Education Center for Excellence in Molecular Sciences, Center for Carbon Neutral Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, P. R. China
  • Received:2023-12-20 Online:2024-02-01 Published:2024-01-24
  • Contact: LIU Huizhen
  • Supported by:
    This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 22293012, 22121002, 22179132).

Abstract: The challenge of breaking 5-5' bonds in lignin, attributed to their high bonding energy, has prompted the development of a new transformation pathway. Biphenyl, an important model compound for lignin, contains these 5-5' bonds, making it crucial to devise a strategy for their cleavage in lignin transformation. This study introduces a novel method for transforming biphenyl, involving selective hydrogenation to cyclohexylbenzene by Ni/SiO2 catalyst, followed by its oxidation to phenol and cyclohexanone through a radical mechanism. Results demonstrate that the catalysts with small particles have strong catalytic activity, while there is little difference in selectivity. The reason for the high selectivity of cyclohexylbenzene is due to the limited adsorption of cyclohexylbenzene on Ni/SiO2. This work presents a fresh approach to breaking resilient C-C bonds in lignin.

Key words: Lignin, 5-5' Bond, Ni/SiO2, Phenol