Succinic acid, or butanedioic acid, was first isolated as long ago as 1546 as a distillate from amber. It also occurs naturally in fungi and lichens, and it is a component of the citric acid cycle. Its chief reactions are oxidation to produce fumaric acid and condensation with ketones to produce unsaturated diacids. The commercialization of a biobased process for making succinic acid was announced in January.
MOTW update: April 01, 2019
At the time Succinic acid was the Molecule of the Week, it was considered to be an important biobased chemical; and several projects were under way to produce it from agricultural byproducts. But this past week, the last biosuccinic acid joint venture was dissolved; and the plants built a decade ago to make the product are idle.
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