High-yielding one-pot synthesis of glucose from cellulose and pentoses/hexoses from real biomass is achieved by using simple activated carbons and 0.012% HCl in water. Ball-milling cellulose and the carbon together created good physical contact between the solid substrate and solid catalyst before the reaction, selectively and drastically improving the depolymerization rate of cellulose to oligomers. Thus, our methodology overcomes a major obstacle in this type of reaction, namely, that the collision between a solid catalyst and a solid substrate is limited. Mechanistic studies have suggested that the active sites of the carbons are weakly acidic functional groups, in which vicinal carboxylic and phenolic groups synergistically work for the hydrolysis reaction.
- carbon catalyst
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