Aqueous-phase acid-catalyzed reactions are essential for the conversion of cellulose-based biomass into chemicals. Brønsted acid and Lewis acid play important roles for these reactions, including hydrolysis of saccharides, isomerization and epimerization of aldoses, conversion of d
-glucose into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, cyclodehydration of sugar alcohols and conversion of trioses into lactic acid. A variety of metal oxide solid acids has been developed and applied for the conversion of sugars so far. The catalytic activity is mainly dependent on the structures and types of solid acids. Amorphous metal oxides possess coordinatively unsaturated metal sites that function as Lewis acid sites while some crystal metal oxides have strong Brønsted acid sites. This review introduces several types of metal oxide solid acids, such as layered metal oxides, metal oxide nanosheet aggregates, mesoporous metal oxides, amorphous metal oxides and supported metal oxides for sugar conversions.
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