Levulinic Acid Platform
In August 2004, a US Department of Energy report identified levulinic acid as one of the "Top Value Added Chemicals From Biomass" on the basis of the feasibility of production, the general utility of the molecule, and its ability to build and transform the marketplace with new families of useful molecules.
It is not difficult to see why:
Levulinic acid is a highly versatile ‘platform chemical’ that can be converted into a broad variety of value-added fuels and chemicals.
Used for years in food, fragrance, and specialty chemical applications, levulinic acid is a non-toxic chemical precursor for cleaner-burning fuels. Derivatives can also be used to produce a number of exciting products from polycarbonate resins to biodegradable plastics to high-volume biodegradable herbicides.
In the long run, the markets in these advanced chemical compounds will grow, permitting us to supplant fossil fuel-derived products with chemicals that are not only more environmentally friendly to produce. but better for the environment.
In the near term, however, the dictates of financing and economies of scale induce us to focus early efforts on bulk fuels markets.