The conversion of lignocellulosics to levulinic acid

Rackemann, Darryn W. & Doherty, William O.S. (2011) The conversion of lignocellulosics to levulinic acid. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, 5(2), pp. 115-126.


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Biomass represents an abundant and relatively low cost carbon resource that can be utilized to produce platform chemicals such as levulinic acid. Current processing technology limits the cost-effective production of levulinic acid in commercial quantities from biomass. The key to improving the yield and effi ciency of levulinic acid production from biomass lies in the ability to optimize and isolate the intermediate products at each step of the reaction pathway and reduce re-polymerization and side reactions. New technologies (including the use of microwave irradiation and ionic liquids) and the development of highly selective catalysts would provide the necessary step change for the optimization of key reactions. A processing environment that allows the use of biphasic systems and/or continuous extraction of products would increase reaction rates, yields and product quality. This review outlines the chemistry of levulinic acid synthesis and discusses current and potential technologies for producing levulinic acid from lignocellulosics.

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214 citations in Scopus
204 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 40645
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: lignocellulosics, hydrolysis, levulinic acid, hydroxymethylfurfural
DOI: 10.1002/bbb.267
ISSN: 1932-1031
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000) > ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (030500) > Natural Products Chemistry (030502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000) > ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (030500) > Organic Chemical Synthesis (030503)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CHEMICAL ENGINEERING (090400) > Catalytic Process Engineering (090402)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 John Wiley & Sons
Deposited On: 11 Mar 2011 00:42
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2011 06:06

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