Kristin’s Masters Defense : Developing Platform Chemicals from Renewable Resources
The Department of Energy has listed 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) as two of the twelve building blocks derived from cellulosic biomass. HMF can serve as a renewable platform for the production of fuels and chemicals. Our research goal is to develop novel methods for the conversion of renewable resources to feedstock chemicals for polymer synthesis. The Diels-Alder reaction, the cycloaddition of alkenes and dienes, has become one of the most important synthetic methods used in organic chemistry. We were interested in carrying out Diels-Alder reactions with derivatives of HMF. Naphthalene analogs of terephthalic acid were synthesized by reacting HMF derivatives with benzyne which could lead to the formation of bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) analogs.