Molecule of the Week

Levoglucosan

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.

More about this molecule from CAS, the most authoritative and comprehensive source for chemical information.