Authors: Ageo Meier de Andrade, Pemikar Srifa, Peter Broqvist, and Kersti Hermansson
It has been suggested in the literature that keto‐to‐enol tautomerization plays a vital role for lignin fragmentation under mild conditions. On the other hand, previous modelling has shown that the adsorbed keto form is more stable than enol on the Pd(111) catalyst. The current density functional theory study of lignin model molecules shows that, in the gas‐phase, keto is more stable than enol, but on the Pd surface, we find enol conformers that are at least as stable as keto. This supports the experimental result that the favourable reaction pathway for lignin depolymerization involves keto‐enol tautomerization. An energy decomposition analysis gives insights concerning the origin of the fine energy balance between the keto and enol forms, where the molecule–surface interaction (−7 eV) and the molecular strain energy (+3 eV) are the main contributors to the adsorption energy.
ChemSusChem, 2020, 13, 6574-6581
Authors: Pemikar Srifa, Maxim V. Galkin, Joseph S. M. Samec, Kersti Hermansson, and Peter Broqvist
Density functional theory (DFT) calculations, combined with a constrained minima hopping algorithm (global minimum search while preserving the molecular identity), have been performed to investigate important reaction intermediates for the heterogeneously catalyzed β-O-4′ bond cleavage in lignin derivatives. More specifically, we have studied the adsorption properties of a keto tautomer (1-methoxypropan-2-one) and its enol form on a catalytically active Pd(111) surface. In agreement with experiments, we find that for the gas-phase molecules the keto tautomer is the most stable. Interestingly, the enol tautomer has a higher affinity to the Pd catalyst than the keto form, and becomes the most stable molecular form when adsorbed on the catalyst surface. The global minimum complex found on the metal surface corresponds to an enolate structure formed when the enol tautomer chemisorbs onto the surface and donates its π-electrons from the C═C region to two adjacent palladium atoms. The actual formation of a chemical bond to the surface in the case of the enol molecule could be the key to understanding why the enol derivative is needed for an efficient β-O-4′ bond cleavage.
J. Phys. Chem. C, 2016, 120 (41), pp 23469–23479