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Carbohydr Res. 2001 Feb 15;330(3):381-90.

The combined hydrolysis and hydrogenation of inulin catalyzed by bifunctional Ru/C.

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  • 1Laboratory of Applied Organic Chemistry and Catalysis, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.


A one-pot process for hydrolysis and hydrogenation of inulin to D-mannitol and D-glucitol over a bifunctional Ru/C catalyst was developed. The hydrolysis is catalyzed by the carbon support, onto which acidity was introduced by pre-oxidation. The effect of different carbon treatments on the hydrolysis of inulin was studied. Oxidation with ammonium peroxydisulfate resulted in a carbon with the highest hydrolysis activity. On this carbon, long chain inulin is hydrolyzed faster than inulin rich in short chains. The application of high pressure (up to 100 bar) increased the hydrolysis rate substantially. The combined process was successfully conducted with a Ru-catalyst supported on this oxidized carbon.

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