Effect of ancillary (aminomethyl)phenolate ligand on efficacy of aluminum-catalyzed glucose dehydration to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural

Daudi Saang'onyo, Sean Parkin, Folami T. Ladipo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Air-stable dimethylaluminum complexes LRAlMe2 that contain (aminomethyl)phenolate (LR) ligands were prepared in high yield. NMR data and X-ray crystallographic characterization of the molecular structures of several of the complexes confirmed bidentate coordination of the (aminomethyl)phenolate ligand to aluminum. Efficient aluminum catalysts for glucose dehydration to HMF were generated via modification of the (aminomethyl)phenolate ligand. LRAlMe2 complexes containing bidentate (aminomethyl)phenolate ligands with an aryl substituent on the amino moiety are efficient catalysts for glucose dehydration to HMF in ionic liquid solvents. In [EMIM]Br and [BMIM]Br, the reaction proceeds at 120 °C to very high conversion in 2 h to produce HMF with 60–63% selectivity and in 58–60% yield. Evidently, LRAlMe2 complexes catalyze glucose isomerization to fructose at ≥120 °C while the HMF yield depends on the degree of competing HMF loss to humins formation. These results indicate that additional studies of ancillary ligand effects on aluminum-catalyzed glucose dehydration are needed to improve knowledge of structure–function relationships that are key to increasing the efficiency of aluminum catalysts for dehydration of glucose (and ultimately cellulose) to HMF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jul 15 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural
  • Aluminum catalysts
  • Dehydration
  • Glucose
  • Ionic liquids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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