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Electrochemical synthesis of biobased polymers and polymer building blocks from vanillin

: Kunkel, Robin; Schmidt, Volkmar M.; Cremers, Carsten; Müller, Dominik; Schmiedl, Detlef; Tübke, Jens

Volltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-6306980 (1.6 MByte PDF)
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Erstellt am: 6.3.2021

RSC Advances 11 (2021), Nr.15, S.8970-8985
ISSN: 2046-2069
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer ICT ()
biobased Vanillin

Vanillin, one of the few biobased aromatic compounds available on an industrial level, is an attractive candidate for the synthesis of biobased polymers and polymer building blocks. This study presents a detailed investigation of the reductive electrochemical coupling process by pinacolization of vanillin and divanillin in an electrochemical H-type cell setup to the polymer building block hydrovanilloin and to polyvanillin, respectively. Therein, different cathode materials are screened by linear sweep voltammetry for their capability and activity of hydrodimerization of phenolic aromatic aldehydes in alkaline aqueous media. Product distributions and faradaic efficiencies of the electrochemical vanillin reduction are investigated in bulk electrolysis experiments. Dependencies on electrochemical parameters such as current densities, applied charges and cathode materials are studied. Furthermore, the polyvanillin synthesis from divanillin is also investigated by bulk electrolysis experiments. The effects of selected electrochemical parameters (current density, applied charge and electrode material) on yield and structural features (weight-average molecular weight (MW), number-average molecular weight (MN), polydispersity (MW/MN)) measured by size exclusion chromatography of the obtained polyvanillin were evaluated. Structural features of isolated polyvanillin were determined by 2D-NMR (HSQC, 13C/1H) analyses and by 31P-NMR analyses after in situ labeling with Cl-TMDP and possible pathways for their generation are discussed. These two promising electro-synthetic processes studied are free of hazardous materials and reagents and highlight the contributions of preparative electrochemistry to green chemistry and further pave the way toward the application of electrochemistry in the synthesis of biobased building blocks and polymers.