N-Doped graphene as a metal-free catalyst for glucose oxidation to succinic acid


[EN] N-Containing graphenes obtained either by simultaneous amination and reduction of graphene oxide or by pyrolysis of chitosan under an inert atmosphere have been found to act as catalysts for the selective wet oxidation of glucose to succinic acid. Selectivity values over 60% at complete glucose conversion have been achieved by performing the reaction at 160 degrees C and 18 atm O-2 pressure for 20 h. This activity has been attributed to graphenic-type N atoms on graphene. The active N-containing graphene catalysts were used four times without observing a decrease in conversion and selectivity of the process. A mechanism having tartaric and fumaric acids as key intermediates is proposed.Financial support by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Severo Ochoa, Grapas and CTQ2015-69153-CO2-R1) and Generalitat Valenciana (Prometeo 2013-014) is gratefully acknowledged. Prof. Simona M. 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