“Selective catalytic conversion of biobased carbohydrates to formic acid using molecular oxygen”R. Wolfel, N. Taccardi, A. Bosmann, P. Wasserscheid, Green Chemistry, 2011, DOI: 10.1039/c1gc15434f
All of us have a very personal relationship to the oxidizing power of oxygen. We use oxygen to turn our food into energy, CO2 and water. There are a number of enzymes and pathways that aid this process, each aiding the reaction of food and oxygen toward the creation of CO2 and water. Now the key to turning complex biomass into usable small molecules is the ability to control this reaction so that we can extract usable chemical building blocks without ending up back at CO2 and water. As you can see in this video over-oxidation can be a real concern. This paper demonstrates the use of a polyoxometalate (POM) catalyst to promote the oxidation of biomass to formic acid.