Deoxydehydration of Vicinal Diols by using Molybdenum Catalysts

One of the issues that the world is facing is that we are running out of the fossil energy resources, and the use of renewable ones is currently limited. Recently, researchers have put lots of efforts to find a way to use biomass as one of the possible renewable sources. They realized that it is possible to convert this biomass material into organic compounds that are close to the characteristics of petrochemicals. One of the reactions that help in this process is the catalytic deoxydehydration (DODH), which is a reaction that removes two adjacent hydroxyl groups (-OH) from vicinal diols to produce alkenes. The DODH reaction requires a catalyst and a reducing agent that help in completing the reaction. According to the article " Deoxydehydration (DODH) of Biomass-Derived Molecules", the first catalytic deoxydehydration was demonstrated by Andrews and Cook using PPh3 as the reducing agent and Cp*ReO3 as the catalyst (1). Subsequently, researchers started synthesizing catalysts with different metals (such as rhenium, ruthenium, vanadium, or molybdenum) adding various reductants such as phosphines, sulfite, alcohols while changing the other parameters such as temperature and reaction time. In this research paper, molybdenum-based catalysts for DODH are discussed.