New paper on Bypassing Microbiology in Conversion of Sugars – University of Copenhagen

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22 March 2011

New paper on Bypassing Microbiology in Conversion of Sugars

Conversion of Sugars to Lactic Acid Derivatives Using Heterogeneous Zeotype Catalysts

Abstract
Presently, very few compounds of commercial interest are directly accessible from carbohydrates by using nonfermentive approaches. We describe here a catalytic process for the direct formation of methyl lactate from common sugars. Lewis acidic zeotypes, such as Sn-Beta, catalyze the conversion of mono- and disaccharides that are dissolved in methanol to methyl lactate at 160°C. With sucrose as the substrate, methyl lactate yield reaches 68%, and the heterogeneous catalyst can be easily recovered by filtration and reused multiple times after calcination without any substantial change in the product selectivity.

Read the full report in Science Magazine