April 18th 2017
Japanese researchers produce alkyl lactate and alkyl levulinate from algae starch.
In Japan, researchers from Tokyo Tech University have found that starch derived from algae after oil extraction can be converted into alkyl lactate and alkyl levulinate used to produce pharmaceuticals, additives, and polyesters. Addition of Sn(OTf)2 boosted alkyl levulinate yields while SnBr4 was used to produce alkyl lactate. The researchers also found methyl levulinate and methyl lactate can be produced but more work needs to be done to develop the appropriate catalysts along with additional research into boosting starch yields.