Quasi-homogeneous carbocatalysis for one-pot selective conversion of carbohydrates to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural using sulfonated graphene quantum dots

We demonstrate that sulfonated GQDs are able to selectively and effectively degrade carbohydrates at high concentrations into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural

Kaixin Li; Jie Chen; Yibo Yan; Yonggang Min; Haopeng Li; Fengna Xi; Jiyang Liu; Peng Chen


Scholarcy highlights

  • Graphene quantum dot, which is the latest addition to the family of nanocarbon materials, promises a wide spectrum of novel applications
  • We for the first time demonstrate the use of GQD and sulfonated GQDs as quasi-homogenous catalysts for chemo-catalysis
  • SGQDs uniquely combine the merits of homogenous catalysts and heterogeneous catalysts, i.e., SGQDs resemble a homogenous catalyst in the reaction while they can be recycled just mimicking the heterogeneous catalysts
  • The DFT calculations reveal that intra-molecular hydrogen bonded -OH groups and the adjacent -SO3H groups on SGQDs play a synergistical role in their high catalytic efficiency
  • This study suggests the potential of SGQD as an efficient and green carbocatalyst for one-pot biomass transformation and more generally the unique potential of functionalized GQDs as novel quasi-homogeneous catalysts for various reactions

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