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Report No.

The Mechanism of sorbitol dehydration in hot acidic solutions

Kondo, Tomomi ; Sasaki, Takehiko*; Shiga, Motoyuki   

Sugar alcohol dehydration in hot water is an important reaction that allows for environmentally friendly biomass conversion without the use of organic solvents. Here, we report a free-energy analysis by metadynamics (MTD) simulations based on ab initio and semiempirical electronic structure theory to understand the mechanism of dehydration reactions of sorbitol (SBT) in hot acidic water. It was found that the reaction proceeds via an S$$_{rm N}$$2 mechanism, whereby the free energy of protonation of the hydroxyl group created as an intermediate is affected by the acidic species. The free energy barriers of the reaction pathways leading to five-membered ether products are lower than those leading to six-membered ether products.



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Category:Chemistry, Multidisciplinary



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