Catalytic Behavior of Metal-Organic Framework UiO-66 in Conversion of Saccharide Biomass

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UiO-66 (Universitet i Oslo 66) is a zirconium-based metal-organic framework (MOF) material. Due to the superior thermal, chemical and mechanical stability, UiO-66 is one of the most attractive MOF platforms to enabling catalysis. This thesis explored the catalytic behavior of UiO-66 in saccharide biomass conversion. The Brønsted acidity in UiO-66 enabled depolymerization of inulin into monosaccharides, which has distinct high activity than inorganic BEA zeolite and aqueous hydrogen chloride (HCl) acid catalysts. The catalytic mechanism of UiO-66 stays in-between pore mouth catalysis and random chain splitting which are prevalent mechanisms in BEA and HCl acid, respectively. The UiO-66 was further explored as catalyst for synthesis of alkyl lactates from saccharide biomass via one-pot multiple step reaction approach. The Lewis and Brønsted acidity in UiO-66 enabled this reaction network, and produced methyl and ethyl lactate from methanol and ethanol solvents by using mono-, di- and polysaccharide feedstocks.