Pyruvic acid, the simplest α-ketoacid, plays a central role in sugar metabolism. It is the product of glycolysis, the anaerobic decomposition of glucose. In muscle, it is reduced to lactic acid during exertion. Pyruvic acid was featured in “Emergence” on PBS’s Nova program in 2007.
December 14, 2020
Pyruvic acid was the Molecule of the Week for May 4, 2009. The simplest α-ketocarboxylic acid, it plays a central role in sugar metabolism. It is thus an important molecule in terrestrial life. Although pyruvic acid is not one of the >200 molecules detected thus far in outer space, Ralf I. Kaiser and colleagues at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (Honolulu) and Justus Liebig University (Giessen, Germany) report its potential for “abiotic organic synthesis in deep space”. They modeled its formation “by barrierless recombination of hydroxycarbonyl (HOCO⋅) and acetyl (CH3CO⋅) radicals in ices of acetaldehyde (CH3CHO) and carbon dioxide (CO2)” under cosmic ray–driven interstellar conditions.
Learn more about this molecule from CAS, the most authoritative and comprehensive source for chemical information.
Stay Ahead of the Chemistry Curve
Learn how ACS can help you stay ahead in the world of chemistry.