3-HP or 3-hydroxypropionic acid

3-Hydroxypropionic Acid: A Biobased building block

What is 3-hydroxypropionic acid?

3-Hydroxypropionic acid is one of the four bio-based building blocks which are being researched as replacements to petroleum for material production.  The current method of carbon cracking for chemical intermediate production is quickly becoming obsolete due to its environmental impact and economic limitations.  The use of this bio-based constituent allows for a renewable resource and an environmentally safer process.  3-Hydroxypropionic acid can be obtained with an almost complete yield through the fermentation and processing of glucose molecules.  This process is expected to be extremely efficient in both yield and energy consumption.

What products can be made from 3-Hydroxypropionic acid?

3-Hydroxypropionic acid can be reacted and processed to produce a variety of chemical intermediates which include malonic acid, acrylic acid, acrylamide, and acrylonitrile.  These intermediates can then be further processed into adhesives, resins, and polymers.  Common products of acrylamide include acrylic resins and polyacrylamide.  Products of acrylic acid include acrylate coatings and adhesives as well as detergent and superabsorbent polymers.  Acrylonitrile products include carpet and clothing, furniture, and nitrile rubber copolymers.


Willke, and Vorlop. “Industrial Bioconversion of Renewable Resources as an Alternative to Conventional Chemistry.” Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 66.2 (2004): 131-42.

Carole, Tracy M., Joan Pellegrino, and Mark D. Paster. “Opportunities in the Industrial Biobased Products Industry.” Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 115.1-3 (2004): 871-85.