Molecule of the Week

5-(Hydroxymethyl)furfural

November 9, 2009

5-(Hydroxymethyl)furfural (HMF) is derived by dehydrating sugars, fructose in particular. It was first synthesized from fructose by W. N. Haworth and W. G. M. Jones in 1944. It has been used as a starting material to synthesize compounds with oxygen-containing functional groups; HMF-derived 2,5-dimethyfuran has been evaluated as a biofuel. Recently, HMF was shown to be toxic to honeybees fed with high-fructose corn syrup.

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