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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Levulinic acid, or 4-oxopentanoic acid, is a white crystalline keto acid prepared from levulose, inulin, starch, etc., by boiling them with dilute hydrochloric or sulfuric acids.

  • It is soluble in water, ethanol, and diethyl ether, but essentially insoluble in aliphatic hydrocarbons.

  • Levulinic acid is used in the manufacture of nylons, synthetic rubbers, plastics, and pharmaceuticals.

  • It is a precursor in the industrial production of other chemical commodities such as methyltetrahydrofuran, valerolactone, and ethyl levulinate.

  • Levulinic acid is used in cigarettes to increase nicotine delivery in smoke and binding of nicotine to neural receptors.

Process

  • Levulinic acid (LA), accessible by the acid-catalysed degradation of biomass, is potentially a very versatile building-block for the synthesis of various (bulk) chemicals for applications like fuel additives, polymer and resin precursors.

  • A biorefinery is a facility that integrates biomass conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels, power and chemicals from biomass.

  • The kinetic expressions were used to gain insights into the optimum process condition for the conversion of cellulose to levulinic acid in continuous-reactor configurations.

  • Levulinic acid is a kind of new green platform chemical with wide application. The kinetics of levulinic acid formation from glucose decomposition at high temperature.

Technology

  • The levulinic acid was degraded by several techniques.

  • A novel method using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC–MS) was developed for the determination of levulinic acid (LV) in soy sauces.

  • Levulinic acid can be produced from cellulosic biomass through thermo hydrolysis.

Market

  • Currently, levulinic acid has a worldwide market of about one million pounds per year at a price of $4–6 per pound.

  • Large-scale commercialization of the Biofine process could produce levulinic acid for as little as $0.32 per pound, spurring increased demand for LA and its derivatives.

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