Thermal synthesis and hydrolysis of polyglyceric acid

  • Arthur L. Weber
  • Published 1989 in Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere


Polyglyceric acid was synthesized by thermal condensation of glyceric acid at 80° in the presence and absence of two mole percent of sulfuric acid catalyst. The acid catalyst accelerated the polymerization over 100-fold and made possible the synthesis of insoluble polymers of both L- and DL-glyceric acid by heating for less than 1 day. Racemization of L-glyceric acid yielded less than 1% D-glyceric acid in condensations carried out at 80°C with catalyst for 1 day and without catalyst for 12 days. The condensation of L-glyceric acid yielded an insoluble polymer much more readily than condensation of DL-glyceric acid. Studies of the hydrolysis of poly-DL-glyceric acid revealed that it was considerably more stable under mild acidic conditions compared to neutral pH. The relationship of this study to the origin of life is discussed.

DOI: 10.1007/BF01808284

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@article{Weber1989ThermalSA, title={Thermal synthesis and hydrolysis of polyglyceric acid}, author={Arthur L. Weber}, journal={Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere}, year={1989}, volume={19}, pages={7-19} }