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Borate-Stabilized Transformation of C6 Aldose to C4 Aldose

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journal contribution
posted on 01.06.2017, 00:00 by Yueer Yan, Lei Feng, Gang Li, Shaoying Lin, Zhen Sun, Yahong Zhang, Yi Tang
Highly efficient transformations of biomass-derived sugars into various valuable chemicals are of topical interest. Tetrose with a four-carbon bone is the root of most of biomass-derived C4 products, but its extreme instability obstructs the blossoming of C4 products presently. Herein, we describe a borate-stabilized catalytic strategy to accumulate erythrose from C6 aldose in a highly selective manner via retro-aldol and aldol processes in alcohol solvent. In our proposed mechanism, borate can stabilize erythrose and avoid its further retro-aldol splitting or isomerization, and induce the production of erythrose again via the aldol condensation of the above-generated glycolaldehyde.