Efficient, chemical-catalytic approach to the production of 3-hydroxypropanoic acid by oxidation of biomass-derived levulinic acid with hydrogen peroxide

Linglin Wu, Saikat Dutta, Mark Mascal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


3-Hydroxypropanoic acid (HPA), a precursor to acrylic acid, can be produced in high yield by oxidation of the biomass-derived platform chemical levulinic acid. While treatment of levulinic acid with H<inf>2</inf>O<inf>2</inf> under acidic conditions gives predominantly succinic acid, a remarkable reversal of selectivity is observed under basic conditions, leading either directly to HPA or, under modified conditions, initially to 3-(hydroperoxy)propanoic acid, which can be quantitatively hydrogenated to HPA. Just say no to fermentation: The first selective, chemical-catalytic approach to renewable 3-hydroxypropanoic acid (HPA) has been accomplished by gentle oxidation of biomass-derived levulinic acid with hydrogen peroxide and hydrogenolysis of the resulting hydroperoxide intermediate. HPA is a green building block of major potential for the production of renewable acrylate derivatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1167-1169
Number of pages3
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 13 2015



  • 3-hydroxypropanoic acid
  • biomass
  • catalysis
  • levulinic acid
  • renewable resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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