Electrochemical Coupling of Biomass-Derived Acids: New C8 Platforms for Renewable Polymers and Fuels

Linglin Wu, Mark Mascal, Thomas J. Farmer, Sacha Pérocheau Arnaud, Maria Angelica Wong Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Electrolysis of biomass-derived carbonyl compounds is an alternative to condensation chemistry for supplying products with chain length >C6 for biofuels and renewable materials production. Kolbe coupling of biomass-derived levulinic acid is used to obtain 2,7-octanedione, a new platform molecule only two low process-intensity steps removed from raw biomass. Hydrogenation to 2,7-octanediol provides a chiral secondary diol largely unknown to polymer chemistry, whereas intramolecular aldol condensation followed by hydrogenation yields branched cycloalkanes suitable for use as high-octane, cellulosic gasoline. Analogous electrolysis of an itaconic acid-derived methylsuccinic monoester yields a chiral 2,5-dimethyladipic acid diester, another underutilized monomer owing to lack of availability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-170
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 10 2017


  • biomass conversion
  • electrolysis
  • itaconic acid
  • kolbe coupling
  • levulinic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Energy(all)


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