Molecule of the Week


January 30, 2012

Levoglucosan, a substance formed by heating carbohydrates, has an unusual heterocyclic bicyclo[3.2.1]octane structure. In 1970, C. M. Lakshmann and H. E. Hoelscher reported that it can be produced in large quantities by pyrolyzing cornstarch under the proper conditions. Levoglucosan is often used as a marker for detecting biomass burning in air quality studies. It is also an initial product of wood decomposition during forest fires.

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