Chemical synthesis of lactic acid from cellulose catalysed by lead(II) ions in water
- 化学化工－已发表论文 
The direct transformation of cellulose, which is the main component of lignocellulosic biomass, into building-block chemicals is the key to establishing biomass-based sustainable chemical processes. Only limited successes have been achieved for such transformations under mild conditions. Here we report the simple and efficient chemocatalytic conversion of cellulose in water in the presence of dilute lead(II) ions, into lactic acid, which is a high-value chemical used for the production of fine chemicals and biodegradable plastics. The lactic acid yield from microcrystalline cellulose and several lignocellulose-based raw biomasses is >60% at 463 K. Both theoretical and experimental studies suggest that lead(II) in combination with water catalyses a series of cascading steps for lactic acid formation, including the isomerization of glucose formed via the hydrolysis of cellulose into fructose, the selective cleavage of the C3–C4 bond of fructose to trioses and the selective conversion of trioses into lactic acid.