Systematic investigation of the mechanocatalytic partial depolymerization of cellulose towards oligomeric glycans

19 July 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The selective depolymerization of cellulose is a major challenge and usually leads to the formation of monosaccharides as main products. Once depolymerized, various platform chemicals such as 5 hydroxymethylfurfural and furfural can be obtained from cellulose. Our work aims to convert cellulose selectively into oligomeric glycans as more valuable products compared to sugars, by using mechanocatalysis in a planetary ball mill. In this work, reaction parameters such as acid content, filling level, rotational speed and grinding duration were investigated systematically and optimized towards a maximum amount of soluble oligomeric species and a minimum of monosaccharides. The systematic investigation of the mechanocatalytic partial depolymerization resulted in a nearly full-soluble fraction containing oligomeric glycans.


partial depolymerization


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