An invited review article titled “One-Pot Conversion of Cellulose to Ethylene Glycol with Multifunctional Tungsten-Based Catalysts” , written by the DICP research team headed by Prof. Tao Zhang, has been published on-line in Accounts of Chemical Research (Aiqin Wang, Tao Zhang, Acc. Chem. Res., 2013, ASAP ).http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ar3002156)。
Cellulose is the most abundant bio-mass resources in nature. One of the important strategies of world-wide sustainable development lies on a clean and highly efficient conversion of cellulose into energy chemicals for realizing partial substitution of fossil resources. However, the intrinsically strong resistence to depolymerization presents a challenge for its green, effective and selective conversion. Extensive attention was aroused in 2008, when this DICP team published for the first time a new reaction process of highly selective conversion of cellulose to ethylene glycol （Angew. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 8510 –8513 cited:151）. After that, a series of investigations have been carried out by this team on catalyst design, reaction mechanism and reaction kinetics, leading to the publishing of 15 SCI papers having impact factors greater than 5. Accordingly, the journal Accounts of Chemical Research invited the DICP scientists to write a review article to introduce their accomplishments in this aspect. In this article, the newest progress in the conversion of cellulose to ethylene glycol attained by this DICP team was summarized, and key points included the three consecutive reactions that constitute the reaction process, the crucial role played by the tungsten-based catalyst in the selective rupturing of the C-C bond, as well as its action in temperature-controlled phase transfer. It is anticipated that the review article will offer important reference for developing new routes of cellulose catalytic conversion and the designing of corresponding highly efficient and stable catalysts.