Glutaric acid

Glutaric acid is the organic compound with the formula HO2C(CH2)3CO2H. Although the related "linear" dicarboxylic acids adipic and succinic acids are water-soluble only to a few percent at room temperature, the water-solubility of glutaric acid is over 50%.


Glutaric acid can be prepared by the ring-opening of butyrolactone with potassium cyanide to give the mixed potassium carboxylate-nitrile that is hydrolyzed to the diacid. Alternatively hydrolysis, followed by oxidation of dihydropyran gives glutaric acid. It can also be prepared from reacting 1,3-dibromopropane with sodium or potassium cyanide to obtain the dinitrile, followed by hydrolysis.


1,5-Pentanediol, a common plasticizer and precursor to polyesters is manufactored by hydrogenation of glutaric acid and its derivatives.

Glutaric acid itself has been used in the production of polymers such as polyester polyols, polyamides. The odd number of carbon atoms (i.e. 5) is useful in decreasing polymer elasticity.


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