3-Hydroxypropanoic acid

April 27, 2015
Image of 3-Hydroxypropanoic acid 3D Image of 3-Hydroxypropanoic acid

3-Hydroxypropanoic acid (3-HP) is a β-hydroxy acid that is soluble in water and many oxygenated organic solvents. It can be produced biochemically and used to make a variety of industrial chemicals, especially acrylic acid, its esters, and their polymers.

3-HP can be directly produced from renewable resources or made from another biobased chemical, levulinic acid. When levulinic acid undergoes hydrogen peroxide oxidation in base, 3-HP or, under different conditions, its hydroperoxy cousin is produced. The peroxide can be hydrogenated to 3-HP.

In an unusual example of pH-driven selectivity, if the reaction is run in acid, the product is succinic acid rather than 3-HP. In both cases, the terminal methyl group of levulinic acid is cleaved.

Chemical Abstract Service - a division of ACS

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

Molecule of the Week needs your suggestions!

If your favorite molecule is not in our archive, please send an email to motw@acs.org. The molecule can be notable for its current or historical importance or for any quirky reason. Thank you!

Stay Ahead of the Chemistry Curve

Learn how ACS can help you stay ahead in the world of chemistry.