Molecule of the Week

Levulinic acid

January 12, 2009

Levulinic acid, or 4-oxopentanoic acid, is prepared from natural sugar (saccharide) sources (e.g., starch, cellulose, or cane sugar) by boiling the saccharide in a strong acid such as HCl. It gets its name from the sugar levulose, another name for fructose. It is used in the manufacture of nylon, synthetic rubber, plastics, and pharmaceuticals.

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