Palm Oil Engineering Bulletin No.135 (Apr - Jun 2020) p38-43
Biological Route from Oil Palm Solid Biomass to Sustainable Succinic Acid
Abdullah Amru Indera Luthfi*; Jamaliah Md Jahim**; Nurul Adela Bukhari*** and Safa Senan Mahmod*

Succinic acid [International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) systematic name: butanedioic acid; historically referred to as amber acid] is a dicarboxylic acid with a C4H6O4 molecular formula that can naturally be found in microorganisms, plant and animal tissues (Nghiem et al., 2017). This organic acid consists of four carbon and two functional carboxyl groups (-COOH) which forms colourless and odourless crystals with a distinctive acid taste (Goldberg and Rokem, 2009). Succinic acid is a wellrecognised chemical platform used as an intermediate in the industrial synthesis of various chemical compounds (Luthfi et al., 2017). Since 1877, scientists conducting work on the geological sources of amber from several archaeological findings have recognised the ability of succinic acid as an antibiotic and natural remedy (Matuszewska, 2016). It has been commonly used as an alternative to salicylic acid to treat illnesses such as diabetes acidosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, cerebral ischemia and neurological damage (Odin et al., 2002; Pomytkin, 2010). It is believed that the use of succinic acid in medicine increases cellular respiration and glucose metabolism which enables the optimal functioning of the body. Therefore, succinic acid is also known as the ‘Spirit of Amber’ or the ‘Amber of the Modern Age’ (Sauer et al., 2008).

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