08 June 2016

Critical influence of 5-HMF aging and decomposition on the utility of biomass conversion in organic synthesis

Spectral studies revealed the presence of a specific arrangement of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) molecules in solution as a result of a hydrogen–bonding network, and this arrangement readily facilitates the aging of 5-HMF. Deterioration of the quality of this platform chemical limits its practical applications, especially in synthesis/pharma areas. The model drug Ranitidine (Zantac®) was synthesized with only 15 % yield starting from 5-HMF which was isolated and stored as an oil after a biomass conversion process.

In contrast, a much higher yield of 65 % was obtained by using 5-HMF isolated in crystalline state from an optimized biomass conversion process. The molecular mechanisms responsible for 5-HMF decomposition in solution were established by NMR and ESI-MS studies. A highly selective synthesis of a 5-HMF derivative from glucose was achieved using a protecting group at O(6) position.

Reference: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2016, 55, 8338-8342.

DOI: 10.1002/anie.201602883

On-line version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201602883