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Cereals pp 49-55 | Cite as

Industrial Applications for Levulinic Acid

  • Viswas Ghorpade
  • Milford Hanna
Chapter

Abstract

Levulinic acid has been produced since 1870. Over the years the basic chemistry and properties have been studied extensively. Though levulinic acid has significant potential as an industrial chemical, it has never reached commercial use in any significant volume. A reason for non-commercialization of this chemical may be that most of the research was done in early 40’s, when the raw materials were expensive, yield was low, and equipment for separation and purification was lacking. Today, overproduction of raw materials and developments in science and technology have opened doors to reevaluate industrial potential of a forgotten chemical giant, levulinic acid. Levulinic acid can be produced by high temperature acid hydrolysis of carbohydrates, such as glucose, galactose, sucrose, fructose, chitose and also from biomeric material such as wood, starch and agricultural wastes. Isolation of levulinic acid can be accomplished either by partial neutralization, filtration of humin material and vacuum steam distillation, or by solvent extraction. Levulinic acid is a highly versatile chemical with several industrial uses. Literature shows potential uses as resin, plasticizer, textile, animal feed, coating, and as an antifreeze. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, efforts are being made to prepare levulinic acid using an extruder as a continuous reactor and possible use as an antifreeze ingredient. This antifreeze will have definite advantages over ethylene glycol. It will be non-toxic and easily digestable by microorganisms. The antifreeze ingredient will be in solid form, hence it will be marketed more readily than liquid forms.

Keywords

Rice Straw Levulinic Acid Phenol Formaldehyde Resin Rubber Hose Versatile Chemical 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viswas Ghorpade
    • 1
  • Milford Hanna
    • 1
  1. 1.Industrial Agricultural Product CenterUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA

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